Community Psychiatric Centers
Monroeville, Greensburg, Monessen, and Wilkinsburg Pittsburgh

November 5, 2018

The Softer and Closer Approach

Written by Dr. John Carosso

How it all began

Many years ago, starting out as a Psychologist, I came across a Principal who established a ritual with his teachers. At the conclusion of every morning meeting, he would huddle the teachers together and lead a chant “softer and closer” repeated four to five times, before sending the teachers off to their students.

Repeat after me…

I am hard pressed to contemplate a more significant or relevant mantra for teachers or parents. I have espoused the “softer and closer” approach since that time, and can think of no better way to connect with a child. Getting on the child’s level, moving-in close, and speaking in a soft tone, if not a whisper, is remarkably powerful, comforting, and bonding for a child in any situation, but especially when the child is experiencing a difficulty and needs supportive guidance.

Go get softer and closer

Try it with your own child; rather than standing across the room and yelling, get close, soft, and comforting in tone, and see the difference.

Time-In?

I’ve also espoused time-in rather than time-out. Of course, the latter is necessary at times, but far too often we neglect trying the former. Try it, the softer and closer approach, and see the difference.

Connecting you, your community, your world, one family at a time.

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