Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!


Communication Challenge: Are Your Words Making or Breaking Your Child?

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

During this time of quarantine when you are around your family possibly more than ever before, you’ve probably found yourself using harsher words than usual, raising your voice more often, or expressing exasperation at the expense of your child’s feelings. This is completely normal, considering the stress of this time, but since I have been posing challenges all month long, I think a Communication Challenge is critically important for this time.

With this challenge, I want you to focus on reframing your words from negative to positive. This is a simple change but requires thought and effort, as our default is often to point out the negative with our words or choose words of criticism rather than encouragement.

The reason your words are so important to your child is that your child is always wondering about one thing: How do you feel about me?

Children read their parents for clues about how they feel about them all the time. They do this because they have a primal need to connect with and feel loved by their parents.

Once they realize how you feel about them, they internalize those feelings and their identity takes shape.

Think back to when you were a child. If you felt loved by your mother or your father, your self-esteem soared, but if you felt rejected or shamed, you probably still live with that pain.

When we walk into a room, our kids watch our body language, listen to the tone of our voices, and hang on our every word. Why? To find out how we feel about them at any given moment.

If they feel loved, they may run out and play, do their homework, or ask you to go on a bike ride with them. If they feel unwanted, rejected, or unloved, they will hide from you and blame themselves for your feelings for a very long time.

When we speak positive words over our kids, they feel positive about themselves.

Use this summer as an opportunity to challenge how you communicate with your child. Take your negative turns of phrase and spin them in a new way by asking questions instead of making statements.

Here are a few examples:

When your child is complaining, instead of saying, “Stop whining,” ask, “What is bothering you?”

When your child is upset, instead of interjecting with “You’re OK,” try asking, “Are you OK?”

When your child has been on his phone for too long, instead of demanding, “Put your phone down,” ask, “What’s interesting on there? Can you take a break?”

This creates the type of safe environment your child craves, and it communicates to her that you are curious about her rather than annoyed or upset. This opens the door for conversation, tells your child she is loved, and helps moderate your temper—all things we desperately need in order to stay connected during this time.

So parents, have you accepted this challenge? Will you make your words count this summer? If you do, I assure you will see a change not only in your own heart and attitude but in your child’s as well.



Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit


Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription. Crunchlabs packs the fun into science by sending kids a new toy to build each month. And everyone’s favorite youtuber Mark Rober’s teaches them how! Kids LOVE IT! Go to and get yours today!

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!



Thrive Market – the customized and economical way to shop organic, non-gmo, and healthy – for you and your family.

The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months. to start now! 

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to

Website-Dr. Meeker (8)
Feeling a a bit uneasy about having "the talk" with your son or daughter?
Dr. Meeker is here to help! “How to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty & Sex (ages 8-18)” is her most comprehensive course ever and she’ll equip you to have that conversation with knowledge, confidence and sensitivity. Check it out!

More Tools to Simplify Fatherhood