Both my sons are in their 50s, still pursuing highly successful careers in IT.

But I’m still trying to communicate effectively, being aware of moments when a particular skill will work best for me–with my wife, my business partners, family, and friends.

Yesterday, I was very conscious of how I responded, and I was reminded of something important. Often, the best response is to not respond–to say nothing. I felt the urge to give advice, to debate, to give feedback; but instead, I said nothing.

It worked like a charm; it was the most effective thing I could have done.

The lesson: saying nothing is a powerful, underappreciated skill.

Parents, in the heat of the moment, consider biting your tongue. Choose your battles. Sometimes refusing to engage is the smartest thing you can do.

Connect with Your Kid, along with Parents Coaching Parents, will help you strengthen the bond with your child.