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What Face Does Your Child See?

What Face Does Your Child See?

We have two faces our children see: the "critical face" and the “I am happy to see you face.”

True confession. When my daughter was little, she was a hot mess. (She is totally delightful now). I would often greet her with my critical face: "Was her hair brushed? Did her shirt match her pants? Did she forget to brush her teeth, again? Did she get into trouble in school today?” When they see you, they see the critical face that says, “What’s wrong now?” As I reflect back, I did this more often than I care to admit.

I want to help prevent this from happening in your relationships with your kids. When kids are met with that critical face or disappointed face, they seldom feel “Mom loves me so much. She just wants the best for me.” Which was what I had intended. What they feel instead is, “What’s wrong with me? I am not good enough?” These messages get internalized and show up as adults as thoughts of self-judgement raising havoc in our lives. Thoughts like “I am not good enough. I am not as good as… What’s wrong with me?” Our inner critic becomes our own worst enemy.

Instead, learn to dial back your judgement. Have you face light up when you see your children. The face that says, “I am delighted to see you! You are adorable.” Your children then feel, “I am loved. I am enough. I belong.” By doing this, you will be acknowledging their inner light and encouraging them to let their light show brightly unfettered by self-judgement and self-doubt.

If you are like me, recognizing this unintended behavior too late in the parenting game, don’t beat yourself up. That never helps. It is never too late. Have your face light up whenever you greet your children now. Do it with everyone you greet! it will have a positive effect on you and them.

Parenting Practice: Have you face light up when you see your family members.


The new edition of the "Redirecting Children's Behavior" book is now out! Click here to order your copy on Amazon or Kindle.There are a ton of new materials to help you discipline in a way that connects you and your child during an altercation. Wouldn't you rather that than you and your child walking away feeling empty, frustrated or angry?


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Kathryn Kvols

Author, Lecturer, Parenting Coach

(352) 494-1581

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