Empowering You to Parent with Heart - Effective Communication - 3 Ways

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Parenting with Heart: Your Joyful Journey

Dear Parent!

Your heartfelt love creates an incredible journey with your child. It's filled with joy, laughter, and love. But let's face it, sometimes communicating with our children can be a challenge. We've all had those moments of not understanding their feelings and struggles.

Parenting Struggles:

We get it. Talking with your child can be tough. Balancing everyday life while staying tuned in to your child's world isn't always easy. Distractions, impatience, and finding the right balance between listening and guiding can hurt effective communication. But remember, you're not alone on this journey.


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Parents Face Challenges.


But don't worry! This post is here to help you overcome those struggles and strengthen the deep connection with your child through the power of parenting with heart by 'listening with heart.' 

Practical Tips for Listening with Heart:

  1. Be a Safe and Non-judgmental Parent:

Be a safe space where your child can freely express themselves. Here's how:

  • Look them in the eye.
  • Show open body language.
  • Give them your undivided attention.
  • Remember the 70/30 Rule: Listen 70%. Speak 30%.
  • Be open-minded and caring.

This builds trust and encourages your child to share their thoughts and feelings.

  1. Confirm and Empathize:
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 Understand Your Child's Feelings


Support your child's feelings. Use phrases like:

  • "I understand how you feel."
  • "It's okay to feel that way."
  • "I'm sorry that happened."
  • "You seem happy."
  • "What's making you smile?"

By speaking in these ways, you show care and understanding.

Quote from a Child Therapist:

Dr. Haim G. Ginott, a respected child psychologist, once said, "Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression." Your empathetic listening can leave a lasting positive impression on your child's emotional well-being.

  1. Strike the Balance:

Listening with heart doesn't mean being a passive listener. Your child looks up to you for guidance and support. Find the right balance by setting clear boundaries and expectations. Here are three guidelines:

  • Be Respectful: Listen without interruptions, giving each other time to express thoughts and expectations. Expect respect from your child too.
  • Pay Attention: Show you value the conversation by giving your full attention and removing distractions.
  • Encourage Positive Behavior: When children feel heard and confirmed, it encourages positive behavior. It helps them develop a powerful sense of self-worth. It also leads them to healthier relationships and decision-making.

Remember, offer gentle guidance without imposing solutions, and let your child explore their thoughts to find their answers.

A Boy Thinking 1000 4
"I Can Choose"


These guidelines empower children to engage in discussions, fostering understanding, respect, and effective communication. Follow these tips. Your children will share their thoughts and build a stronger relationship with you.

Remember, setting clear boundaries with children is an ongoing process that requires consistency, open communication, and understanding. It helps your child develop structure, responsibility, and respect for themselves and others.

Based on the content of this blog, here is a little quiz:

 Which of the following is NOT a practical tip for "listening with heart"?

  1. a) Show open body language.
  2. b) Use interruptions to guide the conversation.
  3. c) Listen 70% and speak 30%.
  4. d) Be open-minded and caring.

Answer: b) Use interruptions to guide the conversation.

Listening without interruptions is essential for "listening with heart." The other options (a, c, and d) are positive and effective strategies for connecting with your child.


By acknowledging the struggles and challenges of parenting, you can take steps to overcome them. "Listening with heart" is the key to a deeper connection with your child.

Embrace the practical strategies we've shared, create a safe space, affirm their emotions, strike the balance between listening and guiding, and explore creative avenues for communication.

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'Listening with Heart' Helps Her Bond with You


       Please listen - only 1 minute and 11 seconds.


Now, go and strengthen that special bond with your child through the magic of listening!

Like this post? Please comment and share it with your friends on social media.

Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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15 Engaging Car Chats for Your Family Vacations

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Car Talk: Building Memories on the Road


Family vacations are an excellent opportunity for meaningful conversations with your children. Engaging in conversation starters allows your kids to express their thoughts. They give you a chance to understand their perspectives. Likewise, it provides a platform for your children to hear your thoughts as well.

In this blog post, we will explore a family's car chats. Use them to make your family vacations memorable and enjoyable for everyone. Pick up our fifteen conversation starters with your special code before you go.

Boy Watch Timing
Timing Family's Thoughts


Kickstart your conversations with a little friendly competition. Set a timer and allocate a specific duration. Two minutes for each person to speak is good. The rule is simple: "No Interrupting!"  These two techniques ensure that everyone gets a turn to express themselves.

Fact: Research shows that active listening and effective communication within families can strengthen bonds and enhance understanding.

Quote: “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” –Michael J. Fox

First Conversation Starter:

Boy Thinking Chin
Making Memories Together


Encourage thoughtful responses. Urge your child to think before they speak. This prompts the child to take a moment to organize their thoughts before starting the timer. It helps develop their communication skills and encourages mindful expression.

Metaphor: Just as a sculptor meticulously shapes their creation, let your child carefully sculpt their words before sharing their thoughts.

Quote: “The most important thing in the world is family and love.” –John Wooden

Second Conversation Starter:

Girl looking up Thinking
Using The Power of Visualization


Stimulate the power of visualization by asking your child to imagine their response before speaking. This technique allows them to tap into their creativity and promotes imaginative thinking. It adds a fun twist to the conversation, making it engaging for everyone involved.

Conversation Tip:

If a member wishes to choose a previous person's topic, time them for two minutes to provide equal speaking opportunities. This fun twist adds a touch of excitement and ensures everyone's ideas are heard.

Quote: “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” –Barbara Bush

Third Conversation Starter:

Fostering Family Communication and Interest


Reflect on your earliest memory and share why it has remained significant to you. This question allows Mom to take a nostalgic journey, reminiscing about a special moment from her past. The family gets to learn something about Mom they never knew.

Quote: “Family gives you the roots to stand tall and strong.”

Fourth Conversation Starter:

 Uniting Families through Shared Stories



Explore what Dad loves most about the family and why. This prompt encourages Dad to express his appreciation for the unique qualities and bonds shared within the family unit.

Are you going on a family trip, enjoying a car ride, or spending a cozy night at home? These conversation openers can create a warm and engaging atmosphere within your family. Remember, the key is to have fun and cherish the moments spent together.

To make our fifteen conversation starters (below) easily accessible, consider placing them in an envelope, a glove compartment, purse, or a backpack. Why? To ensure they are within reach whenever a conversation inspiration strikes.

Enjoy our enhanced conversation starters. Explore the enriching conversations that await you!

Conversation Starters Conclusion:

Utilizing conversation starters during family vacations can create cherished memories and foster meaningful connections. They give each family member an equal chance to express their thoughts. These conversation starters enhance communication within the family unit. So, make sure to pack the free conversation starters below for your next trip or even a cozy night at home. Remember, a happy family vacation is all about having fun together.

Fact: Engaging in regular family conversations has been linked to improved child development and overall family well-being.

Quote: “The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family.” –Lee Iacocca

Don't miss out! Visit www.KidsDiscuss.com and enter the code "CAR" to download all fifteen conversation starters for free. Also, feel free to comment and share this post with your friends on social media.

You might also like to learn more about travel benefits for children from my friend, John Bramer:

Family Travel: The Positive Developmental Impact of Travel on Kids


It's an easy delightful read and matches our ideas nicely.

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy

P.S. Sign up for my FREE Parenting Newsletter and receive exclusive content, including 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids and 101 Ways to Get Your Children to Cooperate.

Family Vacations - 15 Conversations for Carefree Travelers



Conversation starters are perfect for vacations. Children get to speak, and you get to hear what they really think. Your kids get to hear what you think too.

Boy watch time
"One, Two, Three -GO!"


Time how long each person speaks. One minute is good for starters. 

Rule: No interrupting!

The first speaker picks his conversation from an envelope (see below). No peeking!


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This child is thinking before he speaks.



The timer starts only when the speaker starts. When the speaker is finished, the group may ask him questions or give their opinions.

He then chooses the next person to speak. (Make sure everyone has a turn.)



This girl is visualizing her answer first.


If a member wants their turn to be a previous person’s topic, time them for one minute. Then that person picks the next speaker.


Mom is thinking whether to answer this question or the
previous one.


Note. The group can use the same conversation opener for everyone. Otherwise, each member can pick their own conversation. .


Dad is smiling as he thinks.


Put the Conversation Starters in an envelope, purse, or backpack. Make them easy to find.

Whether you're going on a trip, a car ride, or a fun night at home, use these conversation openers. They're a great way to feel warm and cozy as a family. Remember, if f your having fun, your doing it right.

Get all 15 conversations starters. Insert code: CAR and download at www.KidsDiscuss.com  - They're FREE!


Like this post? Please comment and share it with your friends on social media.

Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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Content of Character - Teach Your Kids to Love Like This

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"There's Something about Love that Builds Up and Is Creative."

Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted his four little children (and all people) judged by the "content of their character," not "the color of their skin." Dr. King believed in love not hate. Find out how character, judgment and love fit together in a way Dr. King might approve.

Effective parents teach children to judge. Not by skin color but by searching for the good.

Today, I’ll share how this love works through the story of Gabby, a family activity, and an activity that increases others’ self-esteem. It creates friendships too.

Practice it in your home. I guarantee it will boost your family’s love. Then watch it spread outward from your family to others.

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Dad, I like how you take the time to play UNO with me.

The Story of Gabby

(To protect privacy, all the names are changed because the people are real.)

Gabriella, 13 years-old, is taking a peer coaching class. She assists Mrs. Matlin, who teaches 10 special needs children, like:

  1. Daniel, who repeatedly runs around the room
  2. Lucas, who lets out blood curdling screams that make everyone jump.
  3. Olivia, who stutters and gets mad if asked questions she doesn’t want to answer.


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    "I said, don't call on me.!"


Find out how Gabby's family activity influenced her with these special needs children. Then consider adopting their simple family ritual:

How Kids Judge Others by the "Content of Their Character"

Dr. King was right. "There is something about love that builds up and is creative." 

Like this post? Please comment and share it with your friends on social media.

Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy

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The Assertive Child - How Parents Empower Kids

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The Aggressive Child Lacks Friends


Aggressive kids, like Joey aren't liked. He hated waiting in line at the water fountain. He'd shove the kids lined up ahead of him. They'd fall forward like dominoes. The first child always hit his face while drinking. Joey laughed. I visited his parents and had a glimpse into Joey's life at home. 

The father put his wife down several times during our conversation. She looked straight into my eyes but said nothing. Tears ran down her face.

When parents model meanness, children pick it up. Joey was mean. He didn't know how to relate to others.

I found out that Joey's dad was too busy to spend time with Joey. Joey didn't feel important. He didn't feel love from his dad. As we ended the meeting, Joey's father promised to spend time with him. He and his wife decided to work on their relationship too.


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Parents Must Model How Children Can Assert Themselves

Teaching children how to assert themselves, speak up with respect, and be friendly starts at home. Parents must model how to communicate well. If they don't know how, they can learn. The following article will show how.

 Assertive Children  - How Parents Raise Great Communicators

You'll find:

1. An empowering formula for teaching kids assertiveness skills

2. 5 assertive role-plays to practice at the dinner table

3. A fun family activity 

4. An assertive poem for kids

How Joey Became Assertive

Joey told me with a big smile that his dad playfully put shaving cream on his face and let him shave it off with an empty razor. It made a real difference. Joey, over a matter of weeks, stopped shoving kids and started making friends. A greater respect developed between Joey's parents. Soon they were ready to learn the Assertiveness Formula within this article:

Assertive Children  - How Parents Raise Great Communicators

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Loving Parents Empower Kids


You can raise assertive children by practicing the formula within your family. Advise your kids to use it with others too. If you do, they'll learn to speak up for themselves, make friends, and become respectful communicators too.

Watch our brief video on assertiveness:



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Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS


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Parenting Headstrong Kids - 5 Solutions in 1 Minute Video

Boy crossed arms
Power Struggles with Your Strong-Willed Child
Can Be Solved!

THINK OF HANDLING STUBBORN CHILDREN LIKE METAL BEADS AND A MAGNET. Your child's stubborn behaviors are the metal beads. Your reactions are the magnet. Each stubborn behavior can cause a swift and powerful clash if you let yourself explode with emotion. This doesn't have to happen.

Consider Using Logic by Asking Yourself 3 Questions:

1. What are the consequences to our relationship if I consistently blow-up?

       When I continually react with anger, his stubbornness hardens even more. Respect dies.

2. What are better ways of reacting to his stubbornness?

         I can use a kind, firm, and self-controlled voice.  With time and repetition, mutual respect could grow.

3. Are there specific ways to be the respectful parent and turn his headstrong behaviors into cooperative ones?

        If you draw a blank, watch our 1 minute video below. You'll find 5 solutions you can start using today.

Please remember, no parent is perfect. We all get over-stressed and lose our tempers. Don't get down on yourself if this happens to you. Just reconfirm your commitment to be a respectful parent.

One more thing, you CAN make the magnetic pull between you and your child into a pleasant and positive relationship.

Click on: Have a Headstrong Child? 5 Solutions


 To subscribe to my YouTube Videos, click on my face at the end of this video. To see my longer video on stubbornness click on the video in the upper left-hand corner.
Like this post? Please share it with your friends on social media.

Thank you so much.With warm wishes,  

 Jean Tracy, MSS

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The Sarcastic Parent - How to Use Praise Instead - 1 Minute Video

Sarcastic Parent
Sarcasm Hurts Children


If you’re a parent who ridicules your child, and your sarcasm is backfiring, you must change. Why? Because getting your friends to laugh at your youngster causes her pain. Don’t be surprised when your parent and child relationship suffers and your friends gossip behind your back.

Today we’ll share a video with a 1 minute parenting tip that shares a specific suggestion on how to change. We’ll even include the script.

Sarcastic Parents - Don't Push Your Child Away 



Don’t Push Your Child Away

A 60 Second Parenting Tip

Avoid Sarcasm.

You may be witty, a jokester, or very funny.

But it can be hurtful if your child is the object of your jokes.

When others laugh at her she could feel ashamed or ridiculous and foolish.

Stop! Sarcasm can backfire on you.

Your kids could avoid you now and, in the future, too.

Catch your child being good instead.

Tell him specifically what you like.

Use positive words and a pat on the back.

Keep your child close with honest compliments.


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With warm wishes,  

Jean Tracy, MSS


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Listening - The Key to Family Bonding - 1 minute video

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Listening Is Loving!


If you and your family are so busy with life that you don’t have time for each other, you might want to slow down. Remember the 10-10-10 Rule by Suzy Welch where you ask yourself 3 questions?

  1. Will this (busyness) matter in 10 days?
  2. Will it matter in 10 months?
  3. Will it matter in 10 years?

In 10 years your 8-year old will be 18. The point is, we need to make room for our children if we want to enjoy a strong family bond. Family bonds can give each member a strong foundation for dealing with life, especially if it's a loving connection.

Today, our 1 minute parenting tip video features a simple solution you can start using today. Here is the video with the script below it:

Listening – the Key to Family Closeness




If You’re a Busy Parent AND YOU KEEP SAYING to your child, “I don’t’ have time to talk,” You could be sending him the message, “What I’m doing is more important than you are.” Of course, it’s not what you mean. What can you do? Tell your child when you can talk with him. “Give me 15 minutes. Then let’s talk.” Don’t forget!


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Jean Tracy, MSS


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Gift - How Listening Helps Parents - 3 Reminder Rhymes


 Step in Shoes Pow.Pt.

Listening Is the Parenting Skill that Brings Kids Close

When parents interrupt by talking louder than children to make their point, kids feel angry, unheard, and closed down. If you've ever been interrupted, talked down to, or over-talked, remember how you felt. 

Listening doesn't mean you agree with what your child said. It just means you listened. Of course, if you disagree, don't charge into your child with loud disagreement. Calmly ask questions and listen some more. The better you understand the better your child may listen to you.

Arguing doesn't solves problems. It just cements each side's opinions. We see this in the news every day. I bet there have been times you turned it off. Who wants to hear people fight?

Today's parenting gift offers rhymes as reminders to listen. You'll find 10 altogether. Pick the one you may need and save the others in a 3-hole binder in case you need them in the future. Here are two more of the rhyming reminders:


Mother Listening SMALL
My child gives me pleasure with
thoughts that I treasure.


To be attentive and wise, I look with both eyes.


Get all 10 Listening Reminders with Rhyming Solutions by using the code to download:




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Jean Tracy, MSS


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How Parents Give Kids the Gifts They Want - 3 Ways



Listening Triple A
Parenting Gifts You Can Easily Give

When you want to communicate better with your child, avoid buying things. Yes, kids do want toys, video games, and new cell phones. But if you experience your kids always wanting more, is gifting material things really a good idea?


This parenting present offers more than 3 gifts. It shares 10. Choose the 3 you need the most. Practice them and feel your parent/child connection grow.

Father and Son
Repeat What Your Child Said.


Repeating what your child said is proof that you listened. It proves that you paid attention and respect him. Listening opens the doors of communication and creates closeness.


Get your parenting tip sheet by inserting the code word:



Add it to a 3-hole binder to use whenever your relationship with your child is drifting. Then choose the listening skills you want to practice. Refresh your relationship and enjoy your loving connection.


I just added a second Channel to my YouTube Videos entitled:

1 Minute Parenting Tips


Please subscribe to this new channel by clicking on my face at the end of this short video. I'll be adding more videos soon.

How Parents Give Children 3 Loving Gifts



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Thank you so much.

With warm wishes, 

Jean Tracy, MSS


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