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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Quick Parenting Tip: Smile

I am a big fan of the “Dog Whisperer,” Cesar Milan. I have read most of his books, watched many episodes of his television program, and participated in his online learning program. Let me tell you about one of Cesar’s useful training tips that I think parents should practice regularly with their children.

During the feeding ritual, before actually releasing the dog to eat his or her food, there is a moment when Cesar asks the human to gaze at the dog with a smile and expression of love. This smiling gaze lets the dog feel the human’s positive, warm energy. This is a bonding experience for the dog and the human, who is the dog’s pack leader. The gaze is momentary, but the ritual helps the dog to maintain a calm and relaxed attitude.

Imagine how powerful this ritual would be between a parent and child. What a lovely habit for a parent to develop! The benefits to both the child and parent would be immeasurable.

I understand how difficult it may be for parents to love their children 24 hours a day amid the daily problems and behavior issues. I have often witnessed a parent’s struggle to maintain calm, assertive leadership that would also allow the parent to express love, gentleness, patience, and kindness. Sadly, there are times when I wonder whether a parent likes his or her children because I witness the parent’s seemingly constant battering of sarcasm, impatience, and anger.

Children are important. Like my canine companions, children are dependent on adults for everything: food, shelter, and nurturing. Food and shelter provisions attend to children’s physical needs. Nurturing and a parent’s expressions of love apply to children’s spiritual and emotional needs. A parent’s love and attention to a child will fill up the child’s emotional tank with the most important thing the child will need to face the world with strength and to grow into a secure and stable adult.

 Please spend some time today thinking how you can develop the habit of looking at your child with love and a smile. From this simple habit will grow the larger habit of loving your child.


  1. I frequently look at my child and smile at her happily. Sometimes stroking her hair gently , but when it comes to violin practice I say firmly to her "do you think you have a choice? " :) .... Very difficult to smile at this time , I'll need to work on this .

  2. Reei: you inspired my blog post today. I hope this is helpful. I enjoy reading your comments. I can tell how much you love your child and want to do the best for her. I think that is wonderful!