Parents are always searching for the perfect words, often in an
attempt to really connect with their children. While words can be
helpful and soothing, real feeling is often expressed without
- Smile - Author Toni Morrison once told Oprah
that all children really want to know is, do your eyes
light up when I enter the room? Do you smile at your
children in the morning? Do you smile at them when they are
in swim class? Do you smile at them when they are doing
nothing at all?
- Initiate a hug, for no reason - appreciation
of the moment is easily expressed with a quiet hug out of the
- Get down to their level - when they are
excited to tell you something, get down to their level, make eye
contact and listen intently.
- Stop what you are doing - when your children
really want to talk, turn off your phone, close the computer, or
stop cleaning. Demonstrate that there is nothing more
important than what they are about to say.
- Grab their hand - most of the time we grab
their hand for safety, but it feels good to hold hands just
because. While talking or while watching a movie, it's a
quiet, instant connection.
Next time you can't find the words, try a quiet, loving
gesture…..it might be exactly what you, and they, are looking
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.