June 10, 2012
Plant seeds of empowerment
The time you spend kneeling by or sitting on
your child's bed saying good night. It's the opportunity to catch up on
the day's highlights while distractions are few. Lights out, TV off and
your child is fed, warm, and comfortable.
Some of the most revealing comments are made
in the dark at the end of the day. Subjects that might otherwise be a
bit uncomfortable (embarrassing) for your child can be
approached. Questions about peers, sex, religion, the future, etc., come
to the surface. Now's your chance to plant long lasting seeds of
empowerment and worth. Your influence is powerful because your message
lingers all night long.
Busy schedules and exhaustion make it hard for
parents to approach children without an agenda . . .
an agenda to
go to bed themselves!
and peaceful room can lull you to sleep or make you yearn for your pillow. The
desire to turn off your day might cause you to
rush through the tuck-in. Rushing closes the space for your child to share something and can cut
short the time needed to work up courage.
What was one good thing about today?
Considering all the things that you'll do tomorrow, what's one thing you
want to go really well?
|| What will you dream about tonight?
For 7 years, we've had the tuck-in ritual
of 3 questions. The questions haven't changed; only the bits leading
up to the questions have changed.
they were ages 6 and 8, I'd spend 20ish minutes reading to them before turning out the light for
conversation. After that--3 questions. Gradually, reading became less and
conversation became more, but always the same 3 questions:
1: What was one good thing about today?Shifting focus away from
shortcomings and helping your child practice appreciation. It's surprising to hear how small
make a difference.
about the best thing that happened; it's just one good
2: Considering all the things that you'll do tomorrow, what's one thing you want to
go really well?
chance for your child to visualize success. Sometimes you'll hear worry and
child to be fairly specific and help to hone in on a small aspect of something
bigger. Example: “I want math class to go well.” Ask,
“What about math class?” Could be getting a nod of approval from the
3: What will you dream about tonight?
Closure on the
day and the tuck-in. Everyone knows that imagination rules during dream time so your
child is free to risk wanting everything without fear of criticism or
||To get out clean try, "Your dream sounds terrific. I'll leave you to
A wind-down strategy signaling
that the day is done and sleep is next. Less
You become a safe place
to share the highs and lows.
open ended questions give a lot of bang for the buck.
||Sometimes the trickiest part
is finding the right question.
last conscious message of the day is the one that lingers in the subconscious mind all night.
Here's your chance to slip in a doozie!
Articles: Communication Part 4 - Style, Value is in Real Time,
Related Tip of the
Week: Have Faith, Rush,
Image from Parenting Extra's Pintrest Board, Funny Children
Chime in >> What do you think?