The Secret of Highly Effective Parents

father hugging sonMy middle son, Jacob, is very interested in gold, silver, and diamonds.  He is particularly keen on selling my diamond engagement ring and buying me a crystal replacement and himself a room full of toys!  As I tuck him into bed at night, he sometimes asks this playful question, “Mom, if someone would give you an entire house filled with diamonds and gold in exchange for me—would you sell me?”

“NEVER!” I state resolutely.  “I love you more than all the diamonds in the world!”  Then we laugh and exchange ‘I love you’s, ascertain that the nightlight is on, the fan is on its lowest speed, teeth have been brushed, and stuffed animals are all nearby.

We would never dream of trading our children for all the money in the world.  (Well, except on certain, very trying days!)  So, let’s think about this:  How far would you travel to save 80% on a new air conditioner and how long would that take?  Shouldn’t we budget at least that amount of time for giving individual attention to our kids… daily?

Making time for our children is the best way to educate them that they are at least as important as our housework, errands, and careers.

Physically or emotionally absent parents allow a void to be created in their children’s lives that they may attempt to fill by seeking out harmful types of activities.

Everyone knows that children require proper nutrition to have healthy bodies.  The absence of integral vitamins or minerals can wreak havoc on young, rapidly-developing body systems.  Emotional development works with the exact same principles.  Emotional nurturing and love are the nutrients that are critical to the formation of healthy mindsets, relationships, and self confidence.

When we speak lovingly to our children, they will quickly learn the language of love.

Amazon ImageEach and every person has their own “language of love”, and it is imperative that we develop our parenting skills and tap into the type of love and communication that resonates best with our child’s personality.  A full description of the 5 languages of love is beyond the scope of this article, find more information in this bestseller: The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman.Amazon Image

Gary also has a wonderful version of this book specifically for teens and their parents. It’s called The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively (2010)]. Check out both of these books. If you have young children now, you will have teenagers sooner than you think so grab both books while you can.


  1. Adriana says:

    Ellen,I absolutely LOVE that book: I read it many years ago, and it helped a lot with my 2 kids. My son’s love language is “gifts” and my daughter’s is “quality time”.

    I would recommend the book to anyone looking for a more meaningful relationship with their kids, regardless of their age.

  2. Jenifer says:

    Thank you for this post. Sometimes life is just way too busy for individual attention… but it is too important to keep postponing! And, yes, I would drive a couple of hours to save a few hundred dollars on a new air conditioner- thanks for this reminder:)


  3. My nine-year old also wants to sell my jewelry and buy me flea-market replacements, LOL! Great article; I must forward this one to my husband:)

  4. I just read your tips on how to get kids to cooperate without nagging… Turns out I already do all these things! Perhaps that’s why moms keep asking me how come she is so sweet and well behaved! 🙂