I have said it before and I’ll say it again …Our children believe what we tell them!The importance of using positive language with your kids is something I’m so passionate about so I have found myself writing about it again for this week’s blog.
I try and be very mindful of the language I use around my son.
Here are 4 phrases /words i try to avoid:
1. DON’T… I avoid saying this and try and spin it the other way, so instead of saying “Don’t do that” I’ll say ” How about you do this…” instead. It just leaves room for all the things you can do and a more positive outlook. Another example would be instead of “Dont leave your toys there ” I’ll say “Can you please put your toys where they belong”
2. BE GOOD.. Various professionals have told me that one of the worst things you can do, is label a child as a bad boy/girl vs a good boy/girl. There’s heaps of good articles going onto depth about this.
If we tell our children that they are bad they will feel bad about themselves, however if we tell our children that a certain behaviour is bad then they will likely agree and want to make it good so they can feel good without feeling bad about themselves. Doing a bad thing doesn’t make you a bad person.
The other week I had an important meeting with a friend so Instead of saying “We are having visitors so i need you to be good” ..
I Instead told my son what good means..
We’re having visited so I need you to sit and be quiet and not interrupt while we are having a conversation. I need you to be patient until the meeting is over and I need you to sit and watch TV or sit and play with your toys for Mum please.
Saying be good is open for interpretation and setting them up to fail.
When behaviour is challenging instead of saying “You’re being a naughty/bad” I will tell him that he is not doing as Ive asked which is not great listening. So essentially explaining what the specific naughty behaviour is.
3. CAN’T Im very mindful of this word.
The other day when we were in the car driving, my son asked me if I could please turn and look and keep looking at something he was doing. I said “I can’t mate, I’m driving.”
Its such a bad habbit and I realised it and re stated it to him as “it’s not safe for me to look while I’m driving mate.” If you think about it “I can’t” wasn’t true. I could have turned around. I could have kept looking and I could have caused an accident or not concentrated on the road.
“Can’t” is a word i just simply don’t believe in, yet if I’m honest, i used to use it more than i like to admit with trivial things like above.
So now when i habitually use it I quickly add “yet” when saying it..Eg: I cant look YET mate, I’m driving.
Another example is the other day my son was frustrated with not being able to read and he yelled ” Arrrgh I can’t read” and I simply said to him, “You can’t read yet mate, but you will learn.”
It changed his whole mood!
4. SHOULD replace it with could and notice how the attached emotions change.
Eg: I should go for a walk vs I could go for a walk. The impact is the same for children. You should be nice vs you could be nice.”Should” gives a negative vibration and creates negative emotions if we don’t do the thing we “Should” do. Could allows room for consideration and compassion and is simply more positive. Try it out on yourself first.
So there you have it…4 things NOT to say to the kids and in general for that matter. Good luck and for now i think I could put myself to bed