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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Nov 21, 2018

Our guest this week is Lori Petro, the founder of TEACH through Love, and the creator of Conscious Communication Cards. Lori is dedicated to helping parents learn to communicate without blame, shame, judgment, and guilt. She created TEACH through Love as an online resource for conscious parenting, offering non-punitive and trauma-informed education and support.

In this episode, Lori and I discuss the importance of parent-child communication and how it affects children's behavior and development. Lori introduces her concept of ‘Conscious Communication’ and ‘quality feedback’. She provides us with useful tips to help navigate and implement these skills in order to help improve the parent-child relationship, strengthen children’s neural connections and improve their overall behavior.  Learn more about Lori Petro here. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

What is Conscious Communication?

  • Becoming aware and present of the words we are using
  • Giving quality feedback


Assessing Communication

  • Why am I feeling deregulated that my child isn’t listening to me right now?
  • Why is my stress level rising?
  • Why can’t I stay confident and calm when I am setting limits?
  • Why do I get triggered so much?


Are you using reactive phrases?

  • Reactive communication
    • Things that do not reflect conscious communication i.e blaming, shaming, judging
    • Spitting out directions: “Hurry up!”, “Why aren’t you done?”
  • When communicating this way, even when coming from the best intentions, parents must ask themselves how the message is translating to their child


How to Give Quality Feedback

  • Offering the child a chance to respond and give you information about what they need
  • Restraining from giving directives or judging their behavior
    • Ex: “I noticed your backpack is at the door. We’ve got 5 minutes to leave, how can I help?”


Lori’s Three-Prong Approach to Assess Behavioral Issues

  1. SUPPORT - are the parent and child connected?
  2. STRESS - is this child sensory or cognitively overwhelmed?
  3. SKILLS- is this a time where the parent must set limits to help them build or grow in a skill i.e. focus, attention, responsibility

How Conscious Communication Can Help Neurological Development

  • Kids tend to thrive mentally, physically and emotionally
  • When parents respond to their children with empathy, they help strengthen the neuro-connectors in their brain.

Punitive Behavioral Approaches Can Be Harmful to Parent-child Relationship

  • Children who are highly sensitive, trigger easily, are on the autism spectrum, or have experienced trauma
  • This could lead to hard-wiring of negative behavior, even when your intentions are coming from a good place

Where to learn more?