Good lines for great communication

“No.”
“Stop it.”
“Because I said so.”
“Why did you do that?!”


Sometimes it’s hard to know just the right thing to say when confronted with a tough parenting moment. It’s no wonder we default to negative phrasing and blanket statements, especially when we’re under pressure. It can really help to tuck some tried and tested alternatives into your parenting toolkit. Here family coach Jenny Hale offers suggestions for sentences that promote engagement with our kids and encourage healthy, constructive and open lines of communication.

“This is important to me too, so let’s find a time to talk about it.”

“That is a good idea. Now I need some time to think it through.”

“If you want an answer now it will need to be no. I need some time to work this out.”

“I knew I could trust you to work it out. Thank you.”

“I believe you can handle this.”

“This is not like you. Can you help me work out what is really going on?”

“I am so glad that you are part of this family.”

“We can arrange to do that, as soon as you have finished your assignment”

“I have some thoughts on that – I would be happy to share them if you are interested.”

“This is a problem but problems are for solving and I think you will find a solution.”

“I am sorry that you are sad/angry/hurt/ disappointed/ lonely/exhausted/bored/frustrated.”

“My answer is no this time, but remember no does not mean never.”

“I am proud of the way you handled that. You made some great choices.”

“I believe you have learned something and that is really important.”

“You have tried really hard and I am proud of you!”

“Thank you for helping me. I like it when you help!”

“You and I are going to spend some time together. Would you like to walk to the swings and slides or shall we bake something together?”

“Come on. It’s time for a big cuddle and a story!”

“As soon as you have brushed your teeth, we will be able to read your favourite story.”

“I know it is hard to miss out on something you really wanted.”

“I will always love you, no matter what.”

“I am not going to rush you. Just let me know when you have finished so I can give you that ride.”

“I am sorry I have not stayed as calm as I should have. I am working on it.”


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Our Family Coaches bring their extensive training and experience to help uncover new insights, ideas and practical solutions to parenting and relationship challenges. Through one-on-one support (in person, via Skype or email), you’ll be provided with take-home strategies to bring about the positive changes you desire for your whānau.

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