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Family Therapist Says Shares Her Best Parenting Tip — That She Learned From Her Dog

Family therapist

Therapist Eli Harwood (@attachmentnerd) shared her “best parenting tip” for followers on Instagram for 2023.

As a licensed therapist and a parent, you would think Harwood would have found her best advice in textbooks, through her studies or from fellow therapist but no.

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Harwood's best parenting tip came from her dog.

“I’ve been a family therapist for more than 15 years. I have a really good tip for all you parents out there,” she said.

“I didn’t learn it in grad school and I didn’t learn it in the clinic.”

“I learned it from a dog. You know that thing they do when you come home. Actually, they do it when you walk into the room,” she continued.

She then started to imitate an excited dog that sees their owner after missing them by jumping up and down and making barking sounds.

“Do that with your kids when they are young. When they walk into the room you light up, and when they see you light up, what happens inside of them is they feel delightful.”

“Here's one that I practice every single day. And my kids do it back to me and each other. I can feel this protective wall of delight surrounding us all,” she captions the video.

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Eli explained to followers why it is important to make children feel special. 

“When we feel delightful, we feel worthy and we feel confident.”

“We don’t get stuck on as many of the parts of ourselves that are imperfect because we know we belong “, she continued.

“And you gotta do it when they’re young, because when they become teenagers they turn into cats.”

She ended the video by saying “You can’t be a dog anymore with a teenager, because you would scare the cat away.”

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Eli's followers shared stories of their own about the beauty of her parenting tip. 

The caption ended with a special wish for her followers to take into the new year.

“I hope this same connection culture for you and yours in this upcoming year 2023”, she wrote.

”This is true. I’m 30 and my parents literally look at me like I’m the most precious thing in the world”, wrote one user.

Another commented “I did this with my 9-year-old without knowing it was a thing - I was just genuinely excited to her. She’s definitely got some serious confidence now and I’m so glad to hear it’s going to pay off even more in the teenage years. Thank you for posting this, and I love your reels!”

-”This is how I was raised and I’m so thankful for it, it created a feeling of unconditional love and even after my moms passing I feel such confidence because she made me feel so capable, important and love”, wrote a third.

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Taylor Haynes is a writer based in Chicago. She covers entertainment, news and human interest stories at YourTango. You can find her on Instagram here.