I was at the grocery store the other day. I don’t like grocery stores. Just too chaos and too many choices to make…. so I enjoy studying any kids and their parents that are also engaged in each other and  in the experience of shopping. I decided after cleaning my cart with those wipe things to make a study on what I heard between kids and adults.

Moms and some dads were hustling around with kids in tow or in the carts. I listened as if I had no eyes. In fact in places where it was safe to do so, I closed my eyes as I heard ‘conversation’ between adults and children. I wanted to cry. Why? The parents talked at their kids not with their kids, the kids nagging, nagging for whatever reason, then the big shouting match telling the kids “NO” only to be followed with more nagging. I have to say the bazar habit of parents talking or texting on their phones, while they are supposed to be choosing groceries and being attentive to their children, has got to be the most unrecognized neglectful adult behavior. What are they teaching their kids while they do this? Uhhhh…..for starters, how about its OK to ignore those you are with. And they learn to do the same thing with their own friends and family !


 I asked myself, if all these kids were grown up and walking beside their parent how the conversations would be different? We ought to try walking at the store or anywhere with our kids and imagining they are adult kids. Or we might pretend that sweet 3 foot tall child is our own friend we enjoyed a bite to eat with at the lunch hour today.

 In other words, why are we not instilling with our everyday GOOD words, self-respect, thoughtfulness, kindness, and a host of other positive attributes as we go along in our daily walk with them. Yes- even in times like the chaos of a 5:00 pm trip to the grocery store.


Every day little phrases spoken in love will build a lifetimeof self-respect and acceptance in our kids.

 I will need some help at the grocery store- can you help me choose the snacks this week?

Kid thinks: I’m a real helping member of this family. She likes my choices. Self-esteem huge!

 Let’s make a grocery list…can you write while I check out the pantry?

Kid thinks: She needs me- my mom thinks I write pretty good and wants my help! It encourages great conversations of which could even be comical and cooperation, and spelling work and tidiness of the list.

 I need one of your mega hugs! Thank you!

Kid thinks: She really is hugging me long time- it feels good to have mom/dad’s arms around me. Just plain good! In this day when we are going much too fast, hugs on a daily basis can help slow us down. Helps them want to give it back to those they love…even a pat on the shoulder brings affirmation and love.

 How can I help you this afternoon?

Kid thinks: I know I can do this but I really like that dad/mom wants to see what I have to do in the way of work. Our kids even feel confident to ask before you offer and then set dates to work together. He/she learns to appreciate our point of view on a project as we still allow them their own choices ultimately.

 Thank you for listening, taking your time, being patient with your sister etc.

Kid thinks: She appreciates my efforts, dad/mom see that I am working hard to be patient with little sister. Our kids want to say the same back to us- thank you and please are a forever duo in our lives.

 You are welcome….

Kid thinks: I know they saw and like that I said:  Thank you because they said, You are welcome- not ‘no worries’ or ‘no problem’. Where in the world did those terms come to replace “You are welcome”? Do we forget not to think of what we are really saying?

Please….please at the beginning of a sentence or please at the end of a request.

Kid thinks: It IS a magic word. also see how they can use that word in the same way to their friends and teachers. It’s called polite.

 Your smile makes me smile, thank you!

Kid thinks:  Mom/Dad notices me – they really care about my moods. They will want to say the same back to us- I need to remember words are either apples of gold or pieces of rotten fruit decaying.

 I can see your good grades have given you confidence this year.

Kid thinks: I worked really hard for that grade- mom/dad see’s it was all my effort. They like my effort even though I get mad and angry because I am stressed about my work- they see how hard I try!

 I heard you crying ….do you feel like sharing with me?

Kid thinks: Dad/mom cares…I might not want to talk about it now or ever….but they love me no matter how I feel. They love and I want to show them when they are upset that I am there for them.

 I had an interesting day today; may I share for a moment?

Kid thinks: It’s not always 24 questions directed at me; but a real and honest relationship. Mom/Dad sharing a tough or happy moment- I have a great family even when things stink.

I know you are getting older and read on your own, but can I read to you tonight?

Kid thinks: So many times I am scared that I will be too old for my parents to take care of and love- they really want to cuddle, I feel so secure knowing I can always be loved by them. Mom/Dad takes extra time even away from their evening to spend cozy-time (like they do my kid sister) on my bed reading and chatting about the story! I guess I am never too old to be loved by my mom/dad.

Click links below for more insightful ideas:http://life.familyeducation.com/tween/emotions/55975.html?detoured=1