A child’s world so often is filled with messages of “don’t” and “no.” Sometimes a simple shift in word choice can have a significant effect on both an outcome and how we as parents feel in our daily interactions with our kids.
Be Positive. It’s a given that having young children often requires us to bark quick warnings to head off disaster: “Don’t touch that” (very-fragile-glass-thing that’s teetering on the edge of that shelf in this exceptionally expensive store!) or “Don’t eat that!” (crusty-brown-thing you found on the side of the road). When there’s less urgency, however, think about shifting to a positive tack. “Walk,” rather than “don’t run.” “How about the trash?” rather than “Don’t leave that on the ground.” A gentle-but-firm positive suggestion feels better and produces a better outcome.
We as parents have to both maintain order and teach. But if you find yourself too often in that “negative” space, try rewording some of those requests this week and see if it doesn’t leave you (and your child) in a better place.