N4L 138: "What Young Children Need You to Know" by Bridgett Miller


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By Janet Perry, Janet Perry: blogger, and Nonfiction book lover. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


Bridgett Miller, with almost two decades of experience as a teacher and parent, writes What Young Children Need You to Know: How to See Them So You Know What to Do for Them. Supporting adults to nurture the children in their lives using their heads and their hearts, Miller brings to the table her credentials, including being an authorized Facilitator of the Neufeld Institute and the creator of Look with Love and Parenting with Intention on Facebook and Instagram.

In essence, Miller says about children, “What they desire and deserve most is to be in the presence of a caring adult who acknowledges and validates what they are feeling. Most important, they need an adult who stays connected to them in a heartfelt way by resisting the temptation to suppress or judge their behavior in their most vulnerable moments.” In short, children crave a strong and loving connection, and “we keep showing up because we love them.”


  • Connection – the most important key to good parenting
  • Parental stumbling block – expecting to be on top of our game all the time; antidote – giving ourselves some grace
  • Children’s development is not entirely up to us; Mother Nature helps by working on the inside to help our children mature.
  • Temper tantrums – “gifts in disguise”
  • Young children are incapable of filtering mixed feelings (exercising self-control).
  • Tears show extreme vulnerability, indicating a healthy emotional sense of self.
  • Children live in the moment, so countdown warnings aren’t always helpful, especially because adults often stretch and condense the time for their own benefit.
  • Bedtime – perceived as a time of separation from the people they’re deeply attached to
  • Cellphones – perceived as a competing attachment
  • Interruptions – younger children get in our physical space; older children use words because they can’t hold their thoughts in their mind
  • Light physical contact helps ground children when they’re upset.
  • Parenting (doing) isn’t the same as being with our children.


  • “As Gordon Neufeld often states, your children never feel lost when they are sure of the person who is leading them.”
  • “Emotions need to move…[they] are better out than in, especially when children are very young.”
  • “Attempting to teach a young child something they aren’t yet capable of doing fuels a sense of disconnection between you and your child.”
  • “Every interaction is an invitation to teach and to learn.”
  • “What [children] want most is for you to give them the sense that you ‘get’ them, even when they are struggling to express themselves.”
  • “Parenting can become a daily reminder of the importance of getting to know ourselves better so that we can become more conscious in all of our relationships.”
  • “Parents often have to release the deluded notion that children are here to make us happy and that their behavior needs to be a certain way in order for us to experience the joy of parenting.”
  • “Putting some of our energy into understanding the needs that drive young children’s behaviours and then doing what we can to meet them, will—in the long term—serve us much better than a weekend away at a spa.”
  • “The key to understanding our child is to become very good at observing them and not to cling to the outcome of how we think things need to go.”
  • “The beauty of play is that it teaches…children more than we could ever hope to.”
  • “The children who stir us up and the ones who wake us up…If they’re pushing our buttons, it’s because those buttons need to be pushed.”
  • “One of the greatest unexpected by-products of raising children is the opportunity to grow into the people we’re capable of being.”

BUY What Young Children Need You to Know: How to see them so you know what to do for them


  • Listen to Nonfiction4Life Episode 15 with Erica Komisar, Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters
  • Listen to Nonfiction4Life Episode 30 with Rebecca Eanes, The Positive Parenting Workbook: An Interactive Guide for Strengthening Emotional Connection

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