How Using Positive Language Can Encourage Positive Behaviors in Your Children


Did you know that positive language is key in communicating with your child?  Your child is highly suggestible to what you say. It’s very easy for your words, regardless of whether they are negative or positive, to impact them. So for example if your child tends to be messy and you continually say, “you never clean your room” or “you’re always so messy”, what you are really doing is reaffirming that negative behavior. What she or he is hearing is that things ARE a certain way.

It becomes a fact in the child’s mind. It’s important that the feedback you give your child be specific, timely and given with love. Most of all, it needs to be positive. Focus on the positive part of every behavior we want to teach.

So for example, when you see that your child has left their toys all over the floor, you could say “I can see you’ve had a great time playing so now you’re finished, please could you put your toys away because it’s important to keep our home tidy, isn’t it?” We add a question that is going to end in a yes to emphasize and encourage them to agree. When they’ve done it or tried to do it we can build on this by saying, “Thank you for doing your best to put your toys away, can you just pick up those other ones over there, thank you.”

When we focus on what a child is doing well and encourage them to do it more often, they understand what you want them to do and what is important about doing it.

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