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 ?
Robison said: "Initially, there's an intention to take a softly-softly approach.
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.
We took the softly-softly approach with it but now realise we have to prosecute in every case.
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.
BEFORE the safe conclusion of the stand-off police officers had pleaded for patience from the public as they defended their softly-softly approach to the man who brought Birmingham city centre to a standstill.
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.
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.
With any luck, the softly-softly approach will shame some of your coworkers into action.