Tackle This First

They’re not listening. They’re acting crazy. They’re ​fighting with their siblings​ constantly. You can feel them drifting in the wrong direction, you can see their habits slipping, their grades declining. They’ve just called you to tell you that they wrecked the car, or of an accidental pregnancy.

Obviously you’re going to have to deal with this. But where do you start?

“Connection first,” is Dr. Becky’s advice in Good Inside. Connection as opposed to shame, to criticism, to questions, to doubt, to consequences. There will be time for all that (except shame) later. “Now, to be clear,” Dr. Becky writes, “connection does not mean approval…Connection is an opening that allows for movement. Connection is when we show our kids, ‘It’s okay to be you right now. Even when you’re struggling, it’s okay to be you. I am here with you, as you are.’”

Let’s start by slowing down. Let’s start by letting them know that this doesn’t change how we feel about them. Let’s start by letting them know that ​we’re here to help​, that we’re on their team. Let’s start by letting them know that we love them (which, ​as we’ve said​, you really cannot ever say too much). Once this is established, then we can get to work.

Connection is not at odds with accountability, ​with learning a lesson​, with consequences or even criticism. In fact, it makes the chances of all these things landing even higher. Because they’ll be listening, they’ll be less on guard, they’ll see it not as part of the problem, but part of the solution.

I wear HOKAs Mach 6 shoes when I’m walking with my kids in the morning and now we can all match.


HOKA released their new Mach 6 shoe for kids. This shoe delivers a springy, responsive foam in a sleek style. I know both of my boys are going to be racing each other when they put these on. There’s five colorways to choose from. Free your child’s inner speedster for daily fun.

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