Raising children is a huge responsibility. It's hard to know where you should draw lines, how much freedom you should let them have and how to let them experience the world while still keeping boundaries. It's a hard balance to maintain.
When your child starts acting out or making wrong choices, it's easy to immediately shut them down and say things like "stop" and "no." This negative language has an effect on your kids, and there's a way you can say "no" in a positive way.
Here's how you can change your negative language into positive:
1. Instead of "stop it ... "
Say "I would love it if you did something else."
Telling your kids to stop doing something is hard, and they'll often keep doing it until you get upset or they get distracted by something else. Instead of telling your kids to simply stop, give them options on what they can do instead.
For example, if your child is jumping on the couch, say, "I would love it if you played outside for a little while." Giving them other options will help them do something productive, and you get what you want as well.
2. Instead of "no running ... "
Say "please walk." Asking your child nicely to do something will teach them how to use their manners and will help them actually listen. This positive language will resonate with them and they'll be more likely to stop running.
When they get the idea of walking in their head, it's easier for them to understand that it's what they need to do.
3. Instead of "don't touch ... "
Say "keep your hands to yourself." Kids LOVE to touch things, and it's totally normal. They're super curious about everything at this stage of life, and touching is a way for them to understand the world better.
When you tell them to keep their hands to themselves, it helps them understand exactly what they need to do.
4. Instead of "don't hit ... "
Say "please be gentle." Kids can get a little rough with younger siblings and pets, and it can be infuriating. You might have to remind them a few times, but ask your kids to be gentle or soft. Asking them to be gentle will give them an understanding of why babies and small pets can't handle such rough behavior and they'll remember in the future.
Say "please use your quiet voice." This will help your kids know when using their quiet voice is appropriate and why yelling isn't always the best option. Again, if your kids are younger you might have to remind them a couple times, but telling them what they should do instead of yelling will help them so much.
6. Instead of "stop crying ... "
Say "You're sad, do you need a hug?" Kids cry for so many different reasons, and it might seem totally ridiculous. But it's important to help them understand the feelings they're having and what they can do to feel better. Just acknowledging that your child is sad and giving them a hug might be the only thing they need to feel comforted.
When you talk to your kids in a positive way instead of negatively, they'll be much more likely to respond positively. Letting them know that they shouldn't do something and what they should do instead will help them have a better understanding of how the world works and how to function in it.
Lindsey loves traveling and shopping, and her favorite place in the whole world is Disneyland. She also loves spending time with her family and cute husband. She is studying Professional and Technical Writing and is part of the content team for FamilyShare.