Eliminate words like: no, stop, don’t, can’t, quit (except for dangerous situations). Adults use negative words so often that children tune us out. Almost anything you might tell a child “no” to, can easily be rephrased in a positive and encouraging way. Using the positive decreases the likelihood for children to respond with defensiveness or resistance.
Here’s How it Works
- Tell the child what you want them to do or are permitted/allowed to do rather than what not to do
- Make a statement
- You’re not asking a question
- Adding “please” is polite, not positive
Incorrect and Correct Responses
|Incorrect Response||Correct Response|
|1. Don’t sit on the table.
2. Quit poking Amanda.
3. Stop moving around. I’m trying
to tie your shoe.
4. Stop screaming
|1. Sit on the bench.
2. Keep your hands to yourself.
3. When you hold still, I can tie your shoe.
4. When you are quiet you can go out to play.
How might stating instructions in the positive create more cooperation?
Image Source: positive-negative contrast 455580 [Pixabay.com]