softly-softly approach

(redirected from a softly, softly approach)

softly, softly approach

A calm and thoughtful method for dealing with a problem. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. When dealing with unmotivated teens, the softly, softly approach doesn't always work—sometimes you have to do something to get their attention. Many parents use the softly, softly approach when trying to calm their toddlers' tantrums.
See also: approach, softly

softly-softly approach

An approach that is cautious, tentative, gradual, and careful, especially to an overbearing degree. (Also written "softly, softly.") I just wish his parents didn't always take the softly-softly approach with him. The kid needs to learn how to be a bit more brazen and independent! I think we should use the softly, softly approach at this stage in development.
See also: approach

a/the softly-ˈsoftly approach

(British English, informal) a/the gentle, patient and careful way of doing something, especially when dealing with people: The police are now trying a more softly-softly approach with football hooligans. OPPOSITE: like a bull in a china shop
See also: approach
References in periodicals archive ?
"Officers will be taking a softly, softly approach"
"But it's a softly, softly approach. I can't say he will be back in 10 days or 10 weeks, although it won't be that long.
Speaking ahead of Manchester United's away match at West Ham on Saturday, Assistant Manager Mike Phelan said: " It's sort of a softly, softly approach with Owen.
THE British government has ordered a softly, softly approach to gaining the release of a Scots charity worker kidnapped in Georgia.
PEOPLE who smoke cannabis in public face arrest from next week when police end a softly, softly approach to users.