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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
A softly-softly approach is more effective in maintaining law and order than repression and force.
Then there's the softly-softly approach. Snuggly blanket wraps in check or block prints and with fringed or faux fur trims.
Sgt Taylor, of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team, said: "We took the softly-softly approach with it, but now realise we have to prosecute in every case.
Sergeant Rob Taylor, of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team, says such attacks are becoming all too common and warned that police will no longer be taking a "softly-softly approach".
Let's have a zero-tolerance approach from agencies and not a softly-softly approach which they have taken in the past as residents want to see action sooner rather than much later.
"It's a softly-softly approach with him and he will be ready to start the season as per normal."
The woman told rescuers she had a history of back problems and that meant a softly-softly approach.
Two men were charged in New York with plotting to kill the Saudi envoy with the help of nutcases from Mexican drugs gangs - hardly noted for their softly-softly approach.
Bogdanovic is enemy incarnate for those opposed to the LTA's softly-softly approach, after eight firstround defeats from his eight wildcard entries at SW19.
So far Charlton has opted for a softly-softly approach with a horse just reaching full maturity and it should be noted his main target is the Sprint Cup at Haydock in September.
THE softly-softly approach to knife crime championed by David Cameron and his Justice Secretary Ken Clarke is not what the Conservatives promised in opposition.
Barca have welcomed Fabregas' interes, but seem to be taking a softly-softly approach where Arsenal are concerned.
Industry appears to appreciate the softly-softly approach. "This communication provides the challenge for ICT companies, it is now up to us to prove that we can be a major part of the solution to climate change," said Jan-Willem Scheijgrond, Hewlett-Packard's director of EU government affairs.
After taking a softly-softly approach, the Commission moved on to launch, on 17 October, infringement proceedings against Belgium, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.
Admitting it is a strange injury by virtue of some days not feeling any pain at all, Kightly is now due to take a softly-softly approach before returning to the fray.