This post was contributed by Life With Littles author DeeJay. DeeJay is a mommy blogger who is taking on the task of simplifying parenting for the working mom. She offers stories, advice, and resources to make mommy life simple for the everyday parent.
She is sharing her thoughts on the use of positive language with your children and how it can impact them. So, let’s get down to it!
Using positive language with your children
One thing that we know for certain is that children are like sponges. Much of their early behaviors mimic what they see and hear. Safe to say, even in adulthood, children will re-implement behaviors and language that were modeled for them in their own families.
The foundation that you set for children early on is what follows them throughout the rest of their life. Their confidence levels, reactions to situations and even their success in building relationships all start with mastering the use of positive language.
The idea behind positive language is that you remove negative stop words from your everyday vocabulary and replace them with positive words.
The use of positive language can have great effects on both the individual saying them and the recipient. For children, it is even more important.
Using positive language will make them feel valued, heard and more likely to repeat the positive behavior in response. More importantly, it will allow them to develop more effective communication skills for later in life.
What are negative STOP words?
. . . Just to give you an idea.
In your household, you may find yourself or your child saying something along the lines of:
- “Don’t throw that ball in the house”
- “I can’t find my shoes”
- “I don’t want to take a nap”
- “No, you can’t have any candy”
These simple sayings are common within families. It is easy to use them without even realizing that there are more positive alternatives.
The more practice you have with implementing positive language, the more natural it will become. Take the above examples.
You can easily convert them to more positive responses by using terms such as:
- “Please take the ball outside” or “Can you show me how you use that in the backyard?”
- “Mommy, I need help finding my shoes”
- “Can I have another five minutes?” or “Okay mommy”
- “Let’s eat dinner first” or “I understand you want candy, but there are tastier options for you”
So why do it?
Have you ever noticed that when you tell a child no, they typically respond with whining or an act of defiance? Most times, that tends to frustrate you more as a parent.
The goal is to skip that reaction. Using positive language gives the children a voice. Instead of instantly shutting them down, it provides an alternative. More of a ‘not know, but possibly’ later response.
In the long run, when building relationships with peers and even potential spouses, the positive language will be a great tool. Your child will be viewed as more optimistic and more enjoyable to be around.
I mean let’s be honest, who wants to be around a Debbie downer all day whose favorite words are no and I don’t want to. But children adapt to their surroundings.
So as parents we set the foundation, and it is up to us to ensure it continues to solidify.
So, what do you say?
Start with small things. When your child is asking for something you know he shouldn’t have, substitute the word no with positive language.
When your child is mid tantrum and screaming, try reasoning with them and offering them a different, more positive expression to communicate their frustration.
It may seem like a difficult task in the beginning, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Repetition is key!
Related: Check out Jena’s (from Live Core Strong) take on parenting when the times get tough and how to keep your cool.
Let me know what you think and what other positive language you use with your children! I’d love to hear about it, feel free to share it in the comments.
If you’re looking for more positive parenting resources, check out these awesome finds we have seen on Amazon.
If you use these affiliate links, I may make an extremely small profit, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used or would have used.