Mini-Podcast: Three Unbelievably Simple Parenting Ideas (that Work!)

3 simple tips podcastMy friend Tricia recently took some parenting classes when she certified to become a foster parent.

“What did they teach you?” I asked.

She only had time to discuss a few of her many pearls of wisdom, but three of her tips have already made a huge difference in my mothering.

So now I’m sharing them with you.

(You can either listen to a four-minute podcast of our conversation or you can read the synopsis I typed up below.)

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Brief synopsis of the podcast:

(1) Children need a minimum of 8 touches during a day to feel connected to a parent. 

If they’re going through a particularly challenging time, it’s a minimum of 12 a day.  This doesn’t have to be a big deal–it could be the straightening of a collar, a pat on the shoulder, or a simple hug.

(2) Each day, children need one meaningful eye-to-eye conversation with a parent. 

It is especially important for babies to have that eye contact, but children of all ages need us to slow down and look them in the eyes.

(3) There are nine minutes during the day that can have the greatest impact on a child.

  • the first three minutes–right after they wake up
  • the three minutes after they come home from school, and
  • the last three minutes of the day–before they go to bed.

We need to make those moments special and help our children feel loved.

These are simple, right?  Nothing really earth-shattering here.

But try it.  For a month.  And then I think you’ll see what I’m talking about.  I honestly didn’t realize how much I could improve in this area, and though I still have lots of room for improvement, I can see myself becoming a better mom.

Great podcast with ideas that actually work!  Listen at


QUESTION: Do you have any additional simple tips to share?

CHALLENGE: Choose just one of these ideas to put into action this week.  Then come back and tell us how it went!

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Podcast music from Creations by Michael R. Hicks.



  1. says

    These are such great, do-able tips. I’ve been feeling so bad today because I yelled at my kids this morning, so I can attest that those 3 little minutes in the morning can definately effect your whole day! I’m going to make the rest of the day better by applying these tips. I know they’d work in any relationship, especially with your closest loved ones.


  2. Virginia says

    This is so true. I know I touch and my son, even with the eye-roll, likes the small touches. Another area that I am trying to work on is actually playing with him. He is really a neat kid and fun to be with. Most kids are like that. We just have to be reminded sometimes.

  3. says

    When we certified to adopt, I learned that children need at least 30 minutes of unstructured playtime with one of their parents a day. The parent needs to get down on the ground, look them in the eye, and let the child lead the play. The social worker who taught our class said that every day when he comes home from work, he says, “Let’s play!!!” and his kids go wild with excitement. He plays with all of his kids together for thirty minutes and really engages with them. The kids rotate who is in charge of leading the play.

  4. nutmeg1030 says

    This is such great information to share with parents. Having taken the foster parenting course several years ago, I have been aware of most of this information and have noticed that it has a tremendous impact on our homeschooling environment when I make the time to implement these ideas with my children. I think this article comes at an interesting time in my life because I had just been thinking about how I should implement these same kinds of ideas into my relationship with my partner. Not only would it help strengthen our relationship, but the kids would gain a lot be witnessing and being exposed to daily reminders that Mom and Dad love one another as well. It can hopefully serve as a model for a healthy relationship for them when they are older.

  5. Kathryn says

    We do not do the big bath, book and so on each night. But what I do is go through what we have done that day. I say how it was exciting and interesting and I put our son in the middle of the story. Then we say the names of everyone we know that our son knows and we say ‘who loves you?’ Our son says ‘sassy’ and we say ‘yes sassy loves you. who else loves you?’. We go through the list and include the dog and cat as well. So he goes to bed feeling good and thinking he is loved and also about what happened that day.

  6. Alisha B says

    I love this podcast! It is 3 simple things we can do to help with raising of our children and what a positive benefit that can come from it. I have been trying to be more physical, have eye to eye contact and make moments more meaningful. Thanks so much :)


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