Simple Things I Say to My Kids

When we speak to our kids, words do matter. We don't have to get it right all.the.time, but I like to use the same phrases repeatedly to help drive home important lessons. Therefore, I’m sharing the 10 exact expressions my kids hear on a regular basis. Sometimes the simplest things can be the most impactful. You can either listen along or read--in today's episode, I'm sharing how I use these and why they are important.

[CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE PRINTABLE LIST OF THESE 10 THINGS]

1. “Sometimes we get angry with each other, but we still love each other”⁣⁣


Why does this matter? Because children tend to think in black + white…all or nothing. It is developmentally normal for kids to think in absolutes—but it can be hurtful. For little ones, it can be hard to understand that we can still love each other AND be angry with one another—those feelings can coexist.

I love you/I hate you. You are my best friend/You are my worst enemy. ⁣

It’s not easy for children to see the gray area in between. When we get upset with each other and angry feelings are exchanged, it’s not uncommon for our kids to fear that your love might be turned off like a light switch. So in our house, we end every dispute with this phrase, “Sometimes we get angry with each other, but we still love each other”. Because even if the default is for my kids to think in black and white, I’m going to make darn sure they know that my love is absolute and unconditional.

2. “It sounds like you don’t prefer this…”⁣

Our kids are allowed to say no. They are allowed to opt out. But sometimes they express themselves in words that we don’t love. “This food is gross. I don’t like him. I hate this toy. I won’t play that game."⁣

We could spend all day telling them the words we do not want to hear. “Don’t say that” or “Don’t be mean”. Or instead of criticizing their criticisms, we could lead by example. We can respond with the words that we want to hear instead. As their language is developing, they will adapt to the words that we use (but it takes time!). ⁣

That’s why I respond to complaints and negativity with, “It sounds like you don’t prefer this”. This allows me to acknowledge their choice and reflect back some new (more desirable) language to be filed away in their brains and used in the future. ⁣

3. “As your Mama, it’s my job to keep your brain and body healthy”⁣

⁣Can I have candy? I need more iPad time. I don’t want to go outside. I want whipped cream for breakfast. ⁣

Our kids are persistent. And often they want things we don’t want to give them. Full disclosure, this phrase is as much for ME as it is for them. This saying gives me strength and helps me stay rooted in my principles. It also helps my kids to recognize that I’m not just “being mean”, I’m actually just doing my job. ⁣

Here’s a specific example of how I used this recently:⁣

“I know, I know. You don’t want to go on a hike. You just want to stay home and watch TV. But as your Mom, it’s my job to keep your brain and body healthy. That means I have to feed you good food and make sure you move your body a lot. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but I’m just doing my job."

4. "I feel like I’m about to get angry.”⁣

⁣(In many ways, this feels like a threat. But these sayings aren’t about being perfect, they are about being real.) So here’s why I use it. Anger has the tendency to simmer quietly inside of our minds and then explode. When you are trying to hold in your agitation, you are sitting and simmering in silence and then all the sudden you are YELLING—you just can’t hold it in anymore. You go from 0 to 100. When I use this phase, I’m going from 0 to 50…I’m not totally calm but I’m also showing some personal restraint. It prevents the explosion for me. ⁣

So when I’m starting to notice myself feeling increasingly agitated (like on the path to yelling…) I will say out loud “I feel like I’m about to get angry”. This serves as a warning sign for myself and the people around me that I’m doing my darn best NOT to explode. And most of the time, it works. My kids will usually step back and give me some breathing room. And I take some deep breaths and calm down. ⁣

So mostly I do it for myself. But also for my kids. They are watching and listening. They are seeing me use self-talk to mediate my intense feelings before they get to be unbearable. They are seeing me take deep breaths. They are learning. I am learning.

5. "You are MORE than pretty. You are brave, strong, kind, and clever.”⁣

In the world we live in, “pretty” gets a lot of emphasis. So don’t be surprised if your little girl approaches you frequently to ask, “Do I look pretty?”. Don’t be surprised if strangers stop you in the grocery store to shower her in praise of how “pretty” she is. So how do I respond? ⁣

I affirm her, “Yes, you are beautiful. But you are so much more than that. You are brave, strong, kind, and clever.” As with all these simple sayings, we use this on repeat. By using these phrases repeatedly, we are planting important seeds. It’s lovely to be pretty, but it’s a very small part of who we are as women. We are so much MORE than pretty.

6. "I’m still learning. I’m a work in progress."⁣

I had this poignant moment with my daughter a few months ago. She had a runny nose and I kept swooping in to catch it before it dripped. This infuriated her. She didn’t mind me wiping her nose, she just didn’t want me jumping in putting my hands all up in her face without warning. Frankly, she just wanted a little respect. She wanted me to ASK before wiping. ⁣

Sounds simple, right? Wrong. ⁣

Despite numerous requests, I continued to impulsively wipe her nose. I apologized and found myself saying, “I’m sorry, I’m still learning.”⁣

Because even as a full-grown adult, I am still learning. I frequently get it wrong. I am a work in progress. And mostly I’m thankful that the people around are willing to give me the time, space, and compassion to learn. Because...⁣

Sometimes I make mistakes. ⁣
Sometimes I drop stuff. ⁣
Sometimes I break stuff. ⁣
Sometimes I yell. ⁣
Sometimes I cry.⁣
Sometimes I mess up. ⁣
Sometimes I do stupid stuff you ask me a million times not to do. ⁣

And I need reminders that it’s okay for my kids to do these things too. I’m raising small humans who will frequently get it wrong. They are a work in progress. I won't expect perfectly obedient behavior. I will expect that:⁣

Sometimes they will make mistakes. ⁣
Sometimes they will drop stuff. ⁣
Sometimes they will break stuff. ⁣
Sometimes they will yell. ⁣
Sometimes they will cry.⁣
Sometimes they will mess up. ⁣
Sometimes they will do stupid stuff I ask them a million times not to do. ⁣

And I too, will offer them the time, space, and compassion to learn and grow. ⁣

7. “It sounds like you need some personal space.”⁣

As children are growing they are learning to communicate their needs. In the early years, it is rare that these needs are communicated gracefully. ⁣

“Get away from me!”⁣
“Leave me alone!”⁣
“I don’t want you here.”⁣
“Go away.”⁣

Sometimes we get so caught up in the way the message is being delivered that we can’t even hear the message. Here’s an example. ⁣

SCENARIO A: Your child is feeling irritated and she screams at you, “GO AWAY!!!”. Your authoritarian instincts kick in and say, “She can’t talk to me like that! I need to discipline her!” So you get in her face and firmly declare that she can’t speak to adults that way and she’s in big trouble. You find yourself carrying on about how rude she is being. It’s hard to let it go—because you feel so triggered. Perhaps you put her in time out. You end the interaction feeling like you *sort-of* disciplined her but not really sure if you did the right thing. ⁣

The truth is, sometimes we get irritated and we need personal space. That is a perfectly reasonable request—and really that’s what she wanted in this scenario. She just didn’t communicate it the way you wanted her to communicate it. And the result is that now you have another battle on your hands. ⁣

So let’s try it another way. ⁣

SCENARIO B: Your child is feeling irritated and she screams at you “GO AWAY!!!”. Your authoritative instincts kick in and tell you to listen to the core of her message, so you reflect back “It sounds like you need some personal space” and then you close the door and walk away calmly. You avoided a battle AND you have taught her new words to communicate her needs. You HAVE disciplined her—because discipline is about teaching. ⁣

You taught her how you wanted her to communicate instead of lamenting about how you DIDN’T want her to communicate. ⁣

If we can focus on the message and temporarily put aside the way the message is delivered, we can help to give them new words to communicate their needs. We can reflect back the words we want to hear—and that IS disciplining. Because to discipline means “to teach”.

8. "Can you tell me more about what you’re doing?”⁣

Always approach with inquisition not accusation. ⁣

One day I heard this crazy ruckus outside. I walked out and my son was running back and forth along the stone pavers in our yard pounding them with a metal shovel. Back and forth, back and forth. My first inclination was to scream “KNOCK IT OFF! You are going to break something!”. Instead I took a deep breath and walked out calmly and asked…"Can you tell me more about what you’re doing there?”⁣

He told me he was making music. At second glance, he wasn’t behaving erratically after all. He was pretending the stones were a giant xylophone and the metal shovel was a mallet. Each stone made different sounds based on their sizes. So instead of being mad, I was actually impressed with his creativity. ⁣

So what did I do? I told him that he could continue as long as he wasn’t damaging anything. We walked around and checked the stones and they were unharmed. So, I let him carry on. Sometimes there’s a method to their madness and we just have to pause and figure out what it is. Always strive to approach with inquisition rather than accusation—because there might be some serious exploratory learning going on. ⁣

9. “Okay, let’s do it together!”⁣

Last night I did NOT feeling like cooking dinner. I cook dinner every night and it’s part of my regular routine. But somedays I just don’t want to. Some days I’m tired and overwhelmed and cooking dinner feels HARD. On those days, I’d give anything for someone to sneak up behind me and cheerfully say, “Okay, let’s do it together!”. ⁣

This is the phrase I use to break down resistance in my kids—because we all need a helping hand. Even with things we do everyday. Even with things we already know how to do. I’m teaching my kids that family is about working together and collaboration. Therefore, I’m always willing to jump in and model that family value. ⁣

✔️You don’t want to put your shoes on? ⁣
➡️Okay, let’s do it together. I’ll put on one and you put on the other. ⁣

✔️You don’t want to clean up the toys? ⁣
➡️Okay let’s do it together. I’ll clean up this pile and you get the other one. ⁣

Because as my kids grow and they see me struggling with something simple like cooking dinner…Do I want them to tell me “You already know how to do this Mama. You are old enough to cook dinner.” ⁣

No. ⁣

I want them to jump in and say “Let’s do it together”. I want them to offer up help and support to each other, to me, and to people in need.

10. "Wow, you are really working hard on that!"

Today, my daughter emptied all of the rubber stamps in our craft supplies and used them to transform the table into the cockpit of Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. Each rubber stamp had a purpose, one in particular made the jet shoot out rainbow exhaust when you pushed it. 
When we see our kids deep in play, we get excited. It’s fun to see them pursuing passions and being creative. The result is that, often, we want to comment, make suggestions, and ask questions—which can derail them. First and foremost, if your kid is immersed in a project or play…LET THEM BE!

As parents, we can feel like we need to insert ourselves into the play of our children. But the reality is, we also need to know when to take a back seat and let them take the lead. If they are immersed in play, it’s because that project is intrinsically motivating for them. That means they are doing it because they are interested in it—not because somebody is bribing or praising them. 

But if we really must say something in these situations, let’s praise the hard work they are doing. “Wow, you are working really hard on that!”. By praising the effort, we are noticing them but not derailing the work at hand. We are also helping to shift our kids towards a growth mindset, which means teaching them that they are capable beings whose hard work can determine their own future. 

[CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE PRINTABLE LIST OF THESE 10 THINGS]

Hi there and welcome to episode 226. Today. I am sharing 10 simple and impactful things that I say to my kids. Hi, this is Denaye. I'm the founder of Simple Families. Simple Families is an online community for parents who are seeking a simpler more intentional life. In this show, we focus on minimalism with kids, positive parenting, family wellness, and decreasing the mental load. My perspectives are based in my firsthand experience, raising kids, but also rooted in my PhD in child development. So you're going to hear conversations that are based in research, but more importantly, real life. Thanks for joining us.

Hi there. And thanks for tuning in this episode today is brought to you by Native. I found Native when I was right on the verge of giving up on natural deodorants. I was living in Texas and my husband actually introduced me to it. And I figured if it worked for my husband and it worked in Texas, then it could probably work for me. So it's been several years now that my husband and I have both been using Native and we haven't looked back personally. My favorite scent is Lavender and Rose, but I've tried them all. And they're all really great. I don't think you can go wrong. I believe that reading labels is key and I do it with everything from the food that I buy to the beauty products that I use and even my deodorant from Native. So to make the switch today, go to nativedeo.com/simple, or use the promo code "simple" at checkout, and you'll get 20% off your first order.

That's nativedeo.com/simple, or use the promo code "simple" at checkout for 20% off your first order. Okay. Back to today's episode today, I am sharing 10 simple things that I say to my kids all the time. These are things that they are probably going to inscribe in my gravestone when I die. No kidding. Okay. Maybe they'll just pick one of these 10 things. So I'm sharing these 10 things because these are things that I use frequently. And I intentionally repeat myself. I'm intentionally repetitive with my words, because I think that when we use the same phrases repeatedly, we can drive home important points for our kids. I know that many of us get really overwhelmed trying to say the right thing all the time. It can feel like a lot of pressure to quote unquote, say the right thing, especially when we're dealing with relationships because intimate relationships tend to be emotionally charged.

So we often say things we don't mean or say things that just kind of spill out of our mouth is like verbal diarrhea. If this sounds like you, if this sounds familiar, then you may benefit from having some clear cut phrases that you use repeatedly because you get in the habit of using these phrases. They're going to come more naturally. They're going to come easier during times of stress during times of overwhelm during times of verbal diarrhea during times when you feel like you're at your wit's end, and you have no idea what to do and no idea what to say. I haven't been sharing these 10 things on Instagram for the past few days, and they've been really popular over there. And I felt like it was important to recap it here on the podcast too, because like most things when it comes to parenting or just learning in general, we often have to hear things multiple times for them to really sink in for them to really become ingrained into our minds.

So you might want to listen to this episode more than once you might want to go to the show notes at simplefamilies.com/episode 226 and read these over. I'm working on a principle so you can print them out and hang them up on your refrigerator, but that's not quite ready yet. But if you want to get that, when it is go to simplefamilies.com and make sure you're on the email list. And if you go to simplefamilies.com/workshop, you'll get the free workshop. And you'll also get put on the email list. So you'll get updates when I send out things like free printables.

So without further ado, I'm going to go ahead and get started with number one. Sometimes we get angry with each other, but we still love each other. If you've been listening to the podcast for some time, you've probably heard me talk about this phrase before. And I made this one number one, because it's probably my most commonly used one. So why does this phrase matter? Sometimes we get angry with each other, but we still love each other.

Well, this phrase matters because children tend to think black and white in all or nothing. Yeah. We recently did an episode on this on absolute thinking. This is developmentally normal for our kids to think in absolutes like this, but it can be hurtful to us as adults. But if you could get inside the mind of your child, you would know that it's actually really hard for them to understand this dichotomy, that we can still love each other and be angry with each other at the same time. I love you. I hate you. You're my best friend. You're my worst enemy. It's hard for our kids to see the gray area in between.

So when we get upset with them or when they get upset with us and these angry feelings are exchanged, it's not uncommon for our kids to fear that our love might be turned off like a light switch. So in our house, we end every argument, every dispute with this phrase, sometimes we get angry with each other, but we still love each other. It's not an apology. I'm not apologizing for my anger. I'm not, I'm not apologizing for my feelings or even what I said. It's an acknowledgement. It's an acknowledgement that I know my kids think in black and white, but I'm going to make darn sure that they know that my love is absolute and unconditional. Even if I'm angry or even if they're angry and have done and said things that they're not proud of.

Number two, it sounds like you don't prefer this. It's are allowed to say no. They're allowed to opt out of things. But sometimes when they do it, that he used words that we don't particularly love as adults. They don't say it politely, this food is gross. I don't like him. I hate this toy. I won't play that game so we could spend all day telling our kids what we don't want to hear. Don't say that. Stop saying that don't be, I mean, you're so rude. Or Instead of criticizing their criticisms, we could lead by example. What if we could respond with the words we want to hear. Instead in the early years as their language is developing, they will adapt to the words that we use, but it takes time.

Don't expect to see change overnight. So this is why I respond to most complaints and negativity with the same. It sounds like you don't prefer this. This allows me to acknowledge their choice and reflect back some new, more desirable language that gets filed away in their brains. And hopefully to be used in the future. Think about this, like planting seeds, number three, as your mom, it's my job to keep your brain and your body healthy. So if your kids are anything like mine, you hear requests like this. Can I have candy? I need more iPad time. I don't want to go outside. Can I have whipped cream for breakfast? All of those things have been said in my house this week, maybe today.

Our kids are persistent and often they want things that we don't want to give them full disclosure. I actually use this phrase For me, just as much as I do for them as your mom. It's my job to keep your brain and body healthy. So you see this saying gives me strength. That makes me feel empowered, to stay rooted in my principles so that I don't waiver. It also helps my kids to recognize that I'm not just quote unquote being mean. I'm actually doing my job. My job as a mother is to keep my kids healthy and safe.

So here's a specific example of how I use this. Recently. I said this to my son. I know, I know you don't want to go on a hike. You just want to stay home and watch TV. But as your mom, it's my job to keep your brain and your body healthy. And that means I have to feed you good food and make sure that you move your body a lot.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but I'm just doing my job. I feel in some ways, this kind of lifts the responsibility off my shoulders and allows my kids to believe that there is a higher power that I am answering to an ultimate parental authority. That's going to be checking in on me to make sure that I'm doing my job, which sometimes I kind of wish there was all right, let's go on to number four. I feel like I'm about to get angry. So I don't love this one, but it does serve a purpose. So I don't really love it because it feels like a threat, but these things aren't about being perfect. They're about being real. So here's why I use this one. Even though I don't totally love it. Anger has the tendency to simmer quietly inside of our minds and then explode.

So when you're trying to hold in your agitation, you might be sitting and simmering and silence thinking about all the things that are driving you crazy. And then all of the sudden you're yelling. You just can't hold it in anymore. You go from zero to a hundred. So when I use this phrase, I feel like I'm about to get angry. It's like me going from zero to 50 instead of zero to a hundred. I'm not totally calm when I'm saying it, but I'm also showing some personal restraint. It prevents the full-on explosion for me.

So when I noticed myself start to get increasingly agitated, like I'm on the path to yelling, I'll say it out loud. I feel like I'm about to get angry. This serves as a warning sign for myself and the people around me that I am doing my darn best to hold it together and not explode. And most of the time it works. My kids usually step back and they give me a little bit of breathing room and I take some deep breaths and I can call myself down. So mostly I do it for myself, but I also do it for my kids because they're watching and they're listening and they're seeing me use this self-talk to mediate these intense feelings before they get to be unbearable, before I lose it.

They're seeing me take the deep breaths. They're learning how to regulate their emotions by watching me regulate my emotions. And if I was perfectly happy and perfectly calm all the time, I wouldn't be giving them very many learning opportunities. So maybe they should be thanking me for this one. Right? All right.

Number five, you are more than pretty. You are brave, strong kind and clever in this world that we live in pretty gets a lot of emphasis. So don't be surprised if you're a little girl or maybe even a little boy approaches you frequently to ask, do I look pretty? And don't be surprised if strangers stop you in the grocery store to shower him or her with praise of how pretty she is or how handsome he is. So how do I respond? Well, I start by affirming my daughter and I say, yes, you are beautiful, but you're so much more than that.

You are brave, strong kind and clever. So as with all these simple sayings, we use this on repeat. And by using this phrase repeatedly, we're planting these important seeds. It's fine and lovely to be pretty, but it's just a very small part of who we are as women. We are so much more than pretty.

Number six, I'm still learning. I am more work in progress. I had this poignant moment with my daughter a few months ago, she had a runny nose and I kept swooping in to catch it before it dripped, you know, responsive parenting one Oh one. Well, this infuriated her, she didn't mind me wiping her nose, but she just didn't want me jumping in and putting my hands all up in her face without warning. You know, she just wanted a little respect, which I loved. She wanted me to ask permission before wiping totally reasonable. Right? And it seems simple, but it wasn't because I kept doing it.

Despite her numerous requests, I still impulsively wiped. Her nose jumped right up in there, stuck my hands in her face, started wiping. And you know, I found myself apologizing because she asked me not to do it. And I kept doing it. And I found myself saying this, I'm sorry, I'm still learning. You know, because even as a full grown adult, I am still learning and I frequently get it wrong. I am a work in progress, just like my kids. And I'm thankful that the people around me are willing to give me the time and the space and the compassion to learn and make mistakes.

Because sometimes I do make mistakes. Sometimes I drop stuff and sometimes I break stuff. Sometimes I yell and cry. Sometimes I mess up and sometimes I do stupid stuff that they asked me a million times not to do. And it's important for me to remember these things that I do, all these things as an adult, because I need reminders that it's okay for my kids to do these things too. I'm raising little humans and they are going to frequently get it wrong because they too are work in progress and I'm not going to expect perfectly obedient behavior.

Instead, I'm going to expect that sometimes they're going to make mistakes. Sometimes they're going to drop stuff. Sometimes they're going to break stuff. Sometimes they're going to yell. Sometimes they're going to cry. Sometimes they're going to mess up. And sometimes they're going to do stupid stuff that I asked them a million times not to do. And what am I going to do? I'm going to do my best to offer them the time and space and compassion to learn and grow. And then I'm probably going to revert back to number four and use, I feel like I'm about to get angry because I too am a work in progress. And even though I don't expect my kids to be perfectly obedient, I'm not always going to stay calm.

Number seven. It sounds like you need some personal space. As kids are growing, they're learning to communicate their needs. In the early years. It's pretty rare that these needs get communicated gracefully. Instead, you might hear them saying to you or to their siblings or to their peers. Things like get away from me, leave me alone. I don't want you here. Go away. Sometimes we get so caught up in the way that the message is being delivered. That we can't even hear the message.

Here's an example. I'm going to give you two scenarios, scenario A and scenario B. So here's a, your child is feeling irritated and she screams at you, go away your authoritarian instincts, kick in and say, she can't talk to me like that. I need to discipline her. So you get in her face and you firmly declare that she can't speak to adults that way. And she's in big trouble. Then you find yourself carrying on about how rude she's being.

And it's really hard to let it go because you feel so triggered. You might even put her in timeout. And then you end the interaction feeling like you kind of sort of disciplined her, but you're not really sure if he did the right thing. The truth is that sometimes we get irritated as humans, adults, and kids, and sometimes we need personal space. And that is a perfectly reasonable request. And really in this scenario, that's what she wanted. She wanted a little bit of personal space. She just didn't communicate it in the way that you wanted her to. And now the result is you probably have another battle on your hands.

So let's try this scenario. Another way. Here's scenario B, your child is feeling irritated and screams at you. Go away your authoritative instincts, kick in and tell you to listen to the core of her message. What is she really saying? So you reflect back to her. Oh, it sounds like you need some personal space. And then you close the door and you walk away. You're calm. You avoided a battle and you have taught her new words to communicate her needs. You have disciplined her capital. Have you have disciplined her because discipline is about teaching. You taught her how you wanted her to communicate and set of standing around lamenting about how you didn't want her to communicate.

We can get really caught up in this idea of adequately disciplining our kids. And usually what that means to us is that we have to be mean we have to get angry, but remind yourself that discipline is about education. So what if we could focus on the message and temporarily put aside the way that the message is delivered, then we can help to give our kids new words to communicate their needs. And we can do this by reflecting back the words that we want to hear. And I'm telling you that is disciplining because to discipline means to teach.

All right, number eight. Can you tell me more about what you're doing? So with this one, I always approach with inquisition, not accusation. Here's an example. One day I heard this crazy ruckus outside of my house and I walked out and my son was running back and forth along the stone pavers and our backyard. And he had a metal shovel and he was running back and forth and back and forth banging and banging on the stone pavers. My first inclination was to scream, knock it off. You're going to break something.

But instead of going to accusation, I led with inquisition. So I took a deep breath and I walked out and calmly asked, Hey, can you tell me more about what you're doing here? So I did this and he told me that he was making music. And at second glance, he wasn't really behaving eratically. After all. He was pretending that the stones were a giant xylophone and the metal shovel was a mallet and each stone was making different sounds based on their sizes.

So instead of being mad, I was actually kind of impressed with his creativity. So what did I do? I told him that he could continue as long as he wasn't damaging anything. So he and I walked around and checked all the stones and they were unharmed. So I let him carry on. We have to remind ourselves that sometimes there's a method to their madness and we just have to pause and figure out what it is. We can always strive to approach with inquisition wondering about what they're doing rather than accusation, because there might be some serious exploratory learning going on.

Number nine. Okay. Let's do it together. So last night I did not feel like cooking dinner. I cooked dinner every night and it's just part of my regular routine, but there are days when I just don't want to tase when I'm tired and overwhelmed and cooking dinner is something I do naturally. And normally every day it just feels hard. And on those days I would give anything to have someone sneak up behind me and cheerfully say, okay, well, let's do it together. How wonderful would it be for someone to walk and offer a helping hand? How wonderful would it be for someone to walk up and say, okay, let's do it together when I'm struggling.

So, this is the phrase that I use when I want to break down resistance in my kids, because we all need a helping hand. Even with things we do every day, even with things we already know how to do what I'm doing here is I'm teaching my kids. That family is about working together and collaboration.

And to do that, I'm willing to jump in and model this as a family value. When I can help, I'll help. You don't wanna put your shoes on. Okay, let's do it together. I'll put one on and you put on the other, you don't want to clean up the toys. Okay, let's do it together. I'll clean up this pile and you get the other one when I'm available. I don't hesitate to help. I don't hesitate to collaborate with my kids because as they grow and they see me struggle with something simple, like cooking dinner too. I want them to turn to me and say, but mama, you already know how to do this. You are old enough to cook dinner. No, I want them to jump in and say, let's do it together. I want them to offer up help and to support each other as siblings and to support me and to support my husband and to support other people in need last but not least.

Number 10. Wow. You're working really hard on that. So I'm the kind of person that has a hard time keeping my mouth shut. If my kids are working really hard at something and they're immersed in it, the best thing would probably be just to let them be. But sometimes I feel inclined to say something. And when I do, I'll try to praise hard or work. Now praising hard work and noticing what my kids are doing is really moving towards a growth mindset. This idea, if we work hard, we can accomplish anything that we put our minds to. So if my kids are immersed in something, they're working really hard at something, instead of walking in and being disruptive and asking questions or giving suggestions, I might just comment, wow, you're working really hard on that. It allows me to say something. It allows me to notice them without making it about me without derailing, whatever it is that they're so focused on.

All right. I hope you've enjoyed these 10 things. These were a lot of fun to put together. Some of these might sound familiar to you because I have talked about them on the podcast before, and I'm going to keep talking about them because just like our kids need repetition. So do we, if you want to see the written form of this, you can go to simplefamilies.com/episode 226. And if you want to stay in touch with simple families and get the free workshop, I would love to have you go to simple families.com afford Sasha workshop. You'll get that sent to you instantly, and you'll get the weekly updates of what's going on in Simple Families.

Later this month in July, I'm going to be doing a workshop on toy minimalism, how to get started with decluttering, the toys and how to be more intentional about bringing toys into the home. So keep an eye out for that one. I appreciate you all tuning in and your ongoing support. If you have enjoyed this episode, please take a screenshot of yourself, listening to it and share it on Instagram and make sure you tag me so I can reshare it too. I hope you're having a great week and I'll talk to you soon. Have a good one.

Denaye Barahona

Dr. Denaye Barahona is a loving wife and mama of two. She partners with families to tackle the challenges of raising children. Denaye is a minimalist who claims to be a decluttering expert (don't let her near your closet). She loves to travel, talk health-and-wellness, and give unsolicited advice. She has been featured on the likes of The Today Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Minimalists, Motherly, Becoming Minimalist, and numerous other media outlets. Denaye holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and is a Clinical Social Worker with a specialty in child and family practice.

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