Positive Phrasing

Today I wanted to share a little parenting technique with you guys. I like to call it positive phrasing. How many times a day to you tell your child or toddler to stop doing something, or ‘no don’t do that.’ It can feel exhausting both for you and your little one.

Children learn through experiences and sometimes they continue to do something that might be considered a negative behavior because they don’t know what else to do. Teaching your child what they can do, instead of what they can’t, can make all the difference. And for the most part children haven’t learned the meaning of negating a phrase, so when you say stop this or don’t do that all they hear is this or that. They haven’t learned what “don’t” means.

The idea is that you tell the child what you want them to do instead of what you want them to stop doing. Children’s minds are learning how things work and sometimes they want to do as you’ve asked but they don’t know what to do instead. So giving them the thing to do will take the stress off of being told no and will let them know what is appropriate. Children really do like boundaries and expectations, and when we are constantly nagging them they don’t understand what you expect. Turning it around can work wonders.

Here are some examples of ways to turn common phrases to be more positive:

  • Stop throwing that
  • Don’t spill your milk
  • Stop hitting your sister
  • Don’t take your shoes off
  • Stop jumping on the couch
  • Let’s keep that on the table
  • Drink your milk
  • Give your sister a hug
  • Our shoes stay on our feet
  • Keep your feet on the floor

It seems simple enough, but you’ll come to find that it takes some practice to tell your child what you want them to do, especially when you are catching them doing something you rather them don’t.

Let us know how it goes!!

p.s. the countdown in on for baby. I’m thirty eight weeks and waiting for this little one to come, but also feeling like I have a lot to do. Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

XO Deborah

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