Print Friendly and PDF

Our children are often the best mirrors. Over time, I have gracefully taken a step back and realized I needed to clean up my communication.

I replaced my judgmental, negative, threatening tone with a neutral, problem solving, empathetic, encouraging one (this took TONS of practice, and I'm still a work in progress) and my little girl's behavior improved dramatically.

The lesson was clear for me. Talk to mini-humans the way you'd like to be talked to and things will go a lot smoother. Easier said than done, so over the years, I've adopted the motto “Progress over perfection."

These 20 positive phrases are a great place to start if you'd like to make a fresh start with your communication:

1. “What do you need to remember?"

Take a break from: "Be careful."

Example: "What do you need to remember when you play at the park?" or "Please move slow like a careful turtle when walking on top of that wall."

Explained: Kids often ignore when we say this same thing again and again. Instead, engage their critical thinking skills and have them re-state the important precaution. Or give them specifics on what you want.

2. “Please talk softly."

Take a break from: "Stop yelling!" or "Be Quiet!"

Example: "Please talk softly or whisper," (said in a whisper voice) or, "I love your singing, AND I need you to outside or in the playroom to sing loud."

Explained: Some kids are naturally louder than others. If they have trouble speaking softly, show them where they can go to be loud and also use the power of the whisper. In combination with a gentle touch and eye contact, whispering is an incredibly effective way to get kids to listen.

3. “Would you like to do it on your own or have me help you?"

Take a break from: "I've asked you three times, do it now!"

Example: "It's time to leave. Would you like to put on your shoes by yourself, or have me help you?" or "Would you like to hop in your car seat by yourself or have me put you in it?"

Explained: Most kids respond incredibly well to being empowered. Give them a choice and their critical thinking skills override their temptation to push back.

4. “What did you learn from this mistake?"

Take a break from: "Shame on you" or "You should know better."

Example: "What did you learn from this mistake?" or "What did you learn and how will you do it differently next time, so you don't get in trouble at school?"

Explained: Focusing on motivation to change behavior for the future will get you much better results than placing shame on past misbehavior.

5. “Please ______________."

Take a break from: "Don't!" or "Stop It!"

Example: "Please pet the dog gently" or "Please put your shoes in the closet."

Explained: Do any of us go through our day telling waitresses, baristas, friends, etc. what we DON'T want? No, right? We wouldn't get the best response if we said "Do NOT give us a whole milk latte" or "I don't want the chicken." That form of negative communication isn't perceived well and puts undue strain on relationships. Instead, try asking for what you do want.

6. “We are on cheetah time today and need to move fast!"

Take a break from: "Hurry Up!" or "We are going to be late!"

Example: "We're on racehorse time today! Let's see how fast we can move!"

Explained: Be sure to let them be on turtle time sometimes! We could all use a healthy dose of slowing down, so provide mornings where everyone is relaxed & kids can move slow.

7. “Do you want to leave now or in ten minutes?"

Take a break from: "Time to go…now!"

Example: "Do you guys wanna leave now or play for ten more minutes, then leave?

Why it works: Kids love to be in charge of their own destiny, especially power kids! This takes a tad bit of proactivity, but it works like a charm! Give them a choice & they'll respond much better when you say "Okay, 10 minutes is up, time to go."

8. “Let's add that toy you want to your birthday list."

Take a break from: "We can't afford that" or "No, I said NO TOYS!"

Example: "I am not willing to buy that, would you like me to put it on your birthday wish list?"

Explained: If we're being honest, we often CAN afford the $5 lego at checkout, we're just not willing to purchase it. But then buy a $5 almond milk latte from Starbucks. Instead of blaming our finances and creating feelings of scarcity, own your limit, then offer ideas to help them learn how to get it (birthday, earning money, etc.).

9. “Stop, breathe, now ask for what you want."

Take a break from: "Stop whining!"

Example: "Let's stop, breathe together, now try again to ask for what you want."

Explained: Be sure to model this too. Keep repeating it calmly while breathing with them, till they can self-calm and change the way they're talking.

10. “Respect yourself and others."

Take a break from: "Be good."

Example: "Remember to respect yourself and others when you're inside the jumpy today."

Explained: Be specific here as kids often don't absorb the general statements we throw at them. Ask for what you want and have them restate what is important to remember.

11. “Use your teamwork skills."

Take a break from: "Don't be bossy!" and "No one will want to play with you if you act like that."

Example: "You're a great leader. Remember to use your teamwork skills today. Ask your friends questions, instead of telling them what to do and let others have a turn leading too."

Explained: Many kids who have a strong desire to lead (or feel powerful) are often told they're bossy or that no one will want to be their friends if they act mean. Instead, become a coach of your child and teach them how good leaders lead with integrity—asking instead of commanding, showing instead of telling, and taking turns, so everyone has a turn to lead AND also rest, etc.

12. “I need you to _____________."

Take a break from: "Stop doing ___," and "It's not ok to ___."

Example: "I need you to pet the dog gently, he loves calming pets and will sit with you longer if you touch him that way.

"I need you to slow down and walk like a turtle right now instead of a racehorse since we're in a dangerous parking lot."

Explained: I statements come across very different than you statements, and kids respond much better when we communicate with them in non-accusatory ways. Also, asking for what you want is huge to guide kids in the direction you want (vs. focusing their brain on what you DON'T want!)

13. “It's okay to cry."

Take a break from: "Don't be a baby," or "Don't Cry."

Example: "It's ok that you feel sad, I'll be over here if you need me. I know you can find a way to take care of yourself."

Explained: It's incredible how well kids respond when we don't pressure them to "get over their feelings" or try to force them to stop freaking out. Empower and teach them they are capable of moving through the feeling on their own and they'll come out of the sadness sooner—and also build their self-esteem.

14. “How will you take care of yourself?"

Take a break from: Always fixing, i.e., "Do __________, and you'll be fine, it's not a big deal," or "Why are you always so emotional? Here, a cookie will make you feel better."

Example: "It's ok to be ____________. What are some things you can do to help yourself feel better?"

Explained: Empowering kids to take care of themselves is an incredible gift! Kids who learn to move through emotions with integrity, and take self-calming action get into trouble less and have higher self-esteem. (Be sure you are learning through positive parenting curriculum like The Foundations Course how to support them in this journey to develop intrinsic care, self-control methods and how to self-calm.)

15. “I'll stop, breathe and wait for you to finish."

Take a break from: "Just let me do it."

Example: "Looks like you need a moment, I'll sit down and wait for two minutes or put the dishes in the dishwasher while I wait."

Explained: Many times, it's us parents that need to chill. Slow down and let them try to tie their shoe themselves or figure out the elevator floor by reading the sign. Kids often do a great job of reminding us to be present. Be ok with a lumpy bed sometimes, or shoes on the wrong foot. The goal here is to let kids try, fail, try again and anchor feelings of capability—so they don't always depend on us to do everything!

16. “I love you no matter what."

Take a break from: "No one wants to be with you when you're bad," or "You're not getting hugs and kisses after acting like that."

Example: "I love you no matter what behavior you have, AND I'd like you to ask your brother for the toy next time, instead of grabbing it."

Explained: Unconditional love is at the core of Positive Parenting and means that our love for our kids does not depend on the level of good behavior they have in the day. We love them with all of our heart no matter what. Feeding this truth into our children pours into their need to belong, which is a key motivating factor that Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs (grandfather of Positive Parenting) helps us understand. When kids' basic needs are met, they misbehave less.

17. “I am not ok with ___________—yet."

Take a break from: "You're not old enough," or "You're too little to do that."

Example: "I'm not ok with you walking on top of that brick wall because I'm scared you'll fall and hurt yourself."

Explained: When we own our fears and worries, our kids respond and respect our limits a lot better. Kids often feel like they are old enough, strong enough, big enough and capable enough to do big things like ride bikes fast, climb high fences and carry big glasses of juice…but it's us that isn't ready to take the risk yet. Communicate this to your kids using the word I, and they will push back less.

18. “You care, so I'd love for you to decide."

Take a break from: "I don't care."

Example: "You know what? I'm flexible on this, so can you choose for us. I'd love your help."

Explained: When we really don't care, this is a great opportunity to empower our kids and let them lead! Good leaders are also good followers so teaching our kids this through letting them make decisions is good practice.

19. “I believe in you and am here to support you."

Take a break from: Rescuing, i.e., "I'll take care of this." or "Why do I have to do everything for you?"

Example: "I can see how this is tough for you and I believe in you to get through this. I am here to support you if you need ideas on how to handle the situation with integrity."

Explained: It's important that as parents we set our kids up for success in the world to take care of themselves, solve their own problems and have confidence that they are capable. Supporting instead of rescuing often takes more patience, but it builds kids' self-esteem and intrinsic motivation in the most beautiful ways!

20. “How are you feeling?"

Take a break from: "Chill out; you don't need to get so upset!"

Example: "I can see you're upset, what are you feeling?"

Explained: Helping kids identify their emotions and communicate them effectively is an important element of positive parenting. When children get comfortable actually feeling an emotion and communicating it to others (instead of denying it and trying to MAKE it go away), behaviors have a tendency to be much cleaner and respectful.


The very best of Motherly — delivered when you need it most.
Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Thanks for subscribing!

Check your email for a confirmation message.

Dear fellow mama,

I was thinking about the past the other day. About the time I had three small boys—a newborn, his 2-year-old brother and his 5-year-old brother.

How I was always drowning.

How I could never catch my breath between the constant requests.

How I always felt guilty no matter how hard I tried.

How hard it was—the constant exhaustion, struggling to keep my home any kind of clean or tidy, how I struggled to feed my kids nutritious meals, to bathe them and clean them and keep them warmly dressed in clean clothing, to love them well or enough or well enough.

FEATURED VIDEO

Those years were some of the toughest years I have ever encountered.

But mama, I am here to tell you that it doesn't last forever. Slowly, incrementally, without you even noticing, it gets easier. First, one child is toilet trained, then the bigger one can tie his own shoelaces, then finally they are all sleeping through the night.

It's hard to imagine; I really really get it.

It is going to get easier. I swear it. I'm not saying that there won't be new parenting challenges, that it won't be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life. It will be. But it will get easier.

These days, all of my kids get the bus to school and back. Most of them dress themselves. They can all eat independently and use the toilet. Sometimes they play with each other for hours leaving me time to do whatever I need to do that day.

I sleep through the night. I am not constantly in a haze of exhaustion. I am not overwhelmed by three tiny little people needing me to help them with their basic needs, all at the same time.

I can drink a hot cup of coffee. I do not wish with every fiber of my being that I was an octopus, able to help each tiny person at the same time.

I am not tugged in opposite directions. I don't have to disappoint my 3-year-old who desperately wants to play with me while I am helping his first grade bother with his first grade reading homework.

And one day, you will be here too.

It's going to get easier. I promise. And while it may not happen today or even next week or even next month, it will happen. And you will look around in wonder at the magnificent people you helped to create and nurture and sustain.

Until then, you are stronger and more resilient than you can even imagine.

You've got this. Today and always.

Love,

A fellow mama

Life

I am broken.

It has happened again and I am breaking even more. Soon, the pieces will be too small to put back together.

The negative pregnancy test sits on my bathroom sink like a smug ex-lover. I am left pleading, How could you do this to me again? I thought it would be different this time. I had hope.

We are still trying. It has been 11 months and 13 days and there has been no progress. No forward momentum. No double solid lines. The emptiness of the space where the line should be mocks me.

I am broken.

FEATURED VIDEO

No amount of planning and scheming and effort is enough. I am not enough because I cannot make a chemical reaction happen at the exact moment it needs to happen. I cannot do what I want but oh how I wish I could.

It almost happened once. Two months ago, I felt different. Sore breasts and aware of the world like never before. I felt not empty. The blankness had been replaced by someone. I was sure of it. And I was late. Six days late and I thought this is it.

I didn't rush to test because I didn't want to jinx it. Or perhaps I just didn't want to let go of that string of hope. Without evidence that you're not actually here, I can pretend that you are.

So I waited. And I Googled early pregnancy symptoms and I kept an eye out for red spots I hoped I would never see. I finally couldn't wait any longer and decided the next morning would be the test.

But when I woke up, I knew it was just me. The feeling I had been feeling was gone and I knew, just knew, what I would find.

This test had words instead of lines. 'Not pregnant' it blared loudly, obnoxiously, insensitively.

I am broken.

It was four in the morning and I stood in my tiny bathroom apartment silently sobbing. Alone.

Perhaps you were there for a brief moment, but then you were gone.

I stared again at the stick.

Not pregnant.

Not pregnant.

Not pregnant.

It was taunting me now.

I wrapped it in a paper towel. Walked down three flights of stairs to the front of my building and threw it in the garbage can outside.

Later, when my husband woke, I told him I was wrong. There was nothing there after all.

And I mourned. All day long, I mourned. While I walked to work. While I said hello to my co-workers. While I answered questions and pretended to smile and tried not to think of the broken body I was living in.

The next day the blood arrived. Furious. Both of us infuriated it was there once again.

Can I keep doing this?

Am I broken?

Will I get to the point where I just… stop? Stop hoping. Stop praying. Stop wishing. Stop. Trying.

Am I broken? Or can I keep going?

Life

One of my biggest jobs as a mama is to create a foundation for my kids to become trailblazers and problem-solvers. It's not an easy task. I'm constantly wondering what type of person they'll become and how I can ensure they'll be awesome citizens of the world. For me, part of raising and encouraging future leaders starts with exposure—the more I introduce them to notable leaders in history, the better they can envision their own future.

This is why I love when brands create inspirational clothing and accessories for kids. And this month, Piccolina, a lifestyle brand for littles, added an exclusive Black History Month capsule collection to their trailblazer tees series and they are too cute for words.

The Black History Month line honors heroic leaders like Harriet Tubman, Maya Angelou, Katherine Johnson and Rosa Parks on colorful tees. It even features illustrations by emerging artists of color like Monica Ahanonu, Erin Robinson and Joelle Avelino who are, in my opinion, just as important.

In addition to the tops, the collection features art prints that coincide with the shirts, making this a perfect addition to any kids room—and even mama's office. Perhaps even more exciting are the price points: The limited-edition tees retail for $28 and framed art prints are $60.

Maya Angelou trailblazer tee

Maya Angelou trailblazer tee

This cotton tee features a portrait of the award-winning author, poet and civil rights activist and is the perfect way for your little one to celebrate her inner storyteller. A portion of the shirts proceeds benefit non-profit organizations that support girls' education and empowerment, such as the Malala Fund and Step Up.

$28

While I'm not sure what type of person my little ones will become, I'm certain that introducing them to leaders will help them have greater self-confidence and reinforce that they are competent and resilient, too. And what mama can't get behind that? Now the hardest part is deciding which ones to purchase.

Shop

More people work from home than ever. (A full third of the US workforce.) Companies are getting comfy with jobs for stay-at-home-moms and other at-home jobs. The best part? Google's work-at-home job search recently evolved to Einstein status. Simple Google "remote" + [JOB TITLE] + "jobs." Click "search." Then click the blue jobs bar.

You'll find dozens of the best side jobs for stay-at-home moms (and jobs for pregnant women). We pulled 61 amazing opportunities. The pay info comes from Glassdoor. If you're good you'll earn more. If you're looking for a mom-friendly side gig that can help you bring in extra income, start here.

FEATURED VIDEO

Here are 61 of the best side jobs for stay-at-home moms.

Daycare

One of the most popular and best jobs for moms with young kids? In-home day care. If you love coming up with activities and more kids means more fun, this isn't a bad option.

1. In-Home Day Care. In rural areas, these jobs for stay-at-home-moms pay $20+ per kid per day. It's more in cities. Pay: $27,430

2. Babysitter. Not into full-fledged day care? Give a shout on Facebook for these part-time jobs for moms. Pay: $18,000

Typing

If you can type, you can probably do lots more. But, typing jobs for stay-at-home-moms are easy if you've got the skills.

3. Typist. You'll need at least 40 WPM for these jobs for stay-at-home moms. Test your speed free at KeyHero. Pay: $27,430

4. Data Entry. These stay-at-home-mom jobs need good 10-Key and Qwerty skills. Pay: $31,153

5. Legal Transcriptionist. Type dispositions and legal terms for these SAHM jobs. Pay: $28,570

6. Law Enforcement Transcriptionist. Learn police codes and terms on the fly for these legit work-from-home jobs for moms. Pay: $28,570

7. Medical Transcriptionist. You can find good mom jobs typing doctorspeak if you can learn the terms. Pay: $28,570

Phone

These are easy to get and do.

8. Phone Survey Conductor. Call people at home and ask questions. Pay: $27,099

9. Telemarketer. You'll need a phone and grit. And you've got both. Pay: $25,969

10. Call Center Representative. You know those radio ads with the 800-numbers? These part-time jobs for moms answer them. Pay: $32,214

11. Customer Service. More fun than call-center work. Requires product knowledge. Pay: $34,780

12. Dispatcher. Taxis, trucks, and cop cars need to know where to go. That means more stay-at-home-mom jobs for you. Pay: $37,112

Teaching

If you're a good teacher, you can find well-paying teaching and tutoring jobs online.

13. Online Tutor. If you're good at any subject, these make solid home jobs for moms. If you're good you'll make more than the median. Pay: $25,500

14. Test Scorer. You won't find these flexible jobs for moms in search sites. Contact schools and teachers directly instead. Pay: $24,380

15. ESL Teacher. There are lots of good online jobs for stay-at-home moms teaching English. Pay: $54,337

Writing

Do you have grammar and writing skills? These writer/editor/blogger stay-at-home jobs for moms might be your next chapter.

16. Proofreader. Checking spelling and grammar. Plus, you'll make your kids spelling bee champs. Pay: $36,290

17. Copy Editor. Check grammar, spelling, facts, and research with these online jobs for moms. Pay: $45,506

18. Content Creator. Jobs for moms who can blog and write. Pay: $54,455

19. Editor. Google has tons of remote jobs for moms who can manage writers. Pay: $61,655

20. Journalist. This one takes a long time to develop and you won't find it in the job sites. Join a pro association like the ASJA. Pay: $45,925

Computer science

If you've got a head for code, these might be for you.

21. Help Desk Worker/Desktop Support. Help non-techies jump through hoops. Pay: $43,835

22. Computer Scientist. As a CS, you can do any of the stay-at-home-mom jobs below. Pay: $109,075

23. Computer Programmer. Can you write code, or learn to? These are great stay-at-home jobs online. Pay: $64,719

24. Software Engineer. Also "software developer". This is more than programming because you design the apps. Pay: $104,463

25. Web Developer. Jobs for stay-at-home-moms who build website back-ends pay massive money. Pay: $88,488

26. Web Designer. Create the shape of sites and apps for these work-at-home jobs for moms. Pay: $56,143

27. UX Designer & UI Developer. Make websites play nice with users. Pay: $97,460

28. SQL Developer. Write code to store and retrieve data for websites. Pay: $81,714

29. DevOps Engineer. Someone needs to drive the great web development wagon train westward. That could be you. Pay: $138,378

Artistic roles

Are you an artistic mama? Try these creative stay-at-home-mom jobs.

30. Graphic Designer. If you're good with graphics, you'll find lots of work-from-home jobs for moms here. Pay: $48,256

31. Video Editor. Cook raw footage into gorgeous product with Adobe Premiere. Pay: $46,274

32. Musician. If you've got skills, you can find these jobs for stay-at-home moms in Google. Pay: $40,000

33. Computer Animator. These work-from-home jobs for moms come from networking, not job search websites. Pay: $61,000

Marketing

Many marketing teams rely on remote talent like you.

34. Social Media Specialist/Manager. If you can handle Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, you can be a work-at-home mom. Pay: $54,500

35. SEO Specialist. This is all about keywords and search intent. Pay: $66,848

36. Marketing Specialist. These at-home jobs for moms turn heads to bring in bucks. Pay: $42,153

37. Marketing Manager. If you can lead a marketing team, you can find hundreds of work-from-home moms jobs online. Pay: $93,125

Research

Are you a top-notch internet detective who can pull it all together?

38. Researcher. Dig in, pull facts, and help your boss see forest through the decision trees. Pay: $61,085

39. Research Assistant. Just starting out? Try jobs for stay-at-home-moms helping the main researcher. Pay: $30,647

Accounting + finance

Have you got a CPA license or are you good with numbers? Try these stay-at-home-mom jobs.

40. Accountant. These SAHM jobs need a CPA license. If you don't have one already, move along. Pay: $55,202

41. Bookkeeper. No license. Keep track of the money. These work-at-home jobs for moms are everywhere. Pay: $34,677

Analyst

If you're really good at massaging data, these jobs for stay-at-home-moms may fit.

42. Business Analyst. For these stay-at-home-mom jobs, speak truth to power with hard data skills. Pay: $70,170

43. Data Analyst. Use big data tools like Hadoop or Cloudera to see what's really going on amid a world of figures. Pay: $65,470

44. Financial Analyst. If you don't already have a CFA certification, this one's off-limits. Pay: $63,829

45. Actuary. Insurance companies hire stay-at-home moms who make numbers sit up and beg. Pay: $107,598

46. Biostatistician. Health care needs statisticians too. Lots of SAHM jobs here. Some do it with less. Pay: $92,426

Engineering

If you're not already an engineer, you won't find many work-at-home jobs for moms in this part. Already got a degree? Try these.

47. Assistant Engineer. Do you understand the way things work? You can get SAHM jobs here with an associate's degree. Pay: $68,000

48. Engineer. Search a specific engineer job + "remote" in Google to find tons of these jobs for stay-at-home-moms. Pay: $77,182

49. Mechanical Engineer. Got your mechanical engineering degree but want to be a work-at-home mom? Pay: $73,016

50. Civil Engineer. Yes, there's tons of remote CE positions that work as stay-at-home-mom jobs. Pay: $68,638

51. Electrical Engineer. If you've got the training, you can find at-home-jobs for moms here too. Pay: $83,088

Healthcare

You need a license for these.

52. Telework Nurse/Doctor. If you're licensed, you can do these as a work-at-home mom. Pay: $76,710–$300,000

53. Massage Therapist. Welcome clients to your home and work your magic if you have a state license. Also try reiki practitioner and aromatherapist. Pay: $45,408

54. Mental Health Counselor. Online therapy's a thing, and works as SAHM jobs. Pay: $45,449

55. Addiction Counselor. Plenty of work-from-home jobs for moms online in this field. Pay: $37,762

56. Marriage Counselor. Rural couples love not driving. That creates online jobs for moms. Pay: $53,000

Other

Need a few more SAHM jobs with minimal training?

57. Virtual Assistant. Basically an online secretary. Good unskilled stay-at-home-mom jobs. Pay: $22,000

58. Recruiter. Many are underhanded, but you don't have to be. Pay: $49,712

59. Translator. If you're fluent, Google, "remote translator jobs" to find lots of legit SAHM jobs. Pay: $44,190

60. Amazon Top Work From Home Jobs. Amazon has stacks of jobs for stay-at-home-moms. Pay: Variable

61. Network Marketer. Multi-level marketing (MLM) has detractors and proponents. Research heavily before you jump. Pay: Variable

Originally posted on Zety.

You might also like:

Work + Money
Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.