Positive language provides children with clarity
Children (especially tweens and teens) pay attention to positive language quicker than they listen (or even hear) negativity. Negative breeds negative and children can more easily understand words they can picture in their head (visualize).
The day I tried to remove the word “not” when I talked to the kids I had another aha experience.
- Have you ever dared to listen to yourself when you’re talking and reflected on how many times you use the word no?
- How many times do you tell your kid what not to do instead of what you want them to do?
It all started when my mom said she thought it was so weird when she asked someone “How did it taste?” She noticed people often answered “Not bad” which then meant it tasted good.
Well, say it then! Why is it so hard for us to say what we mean?
The clearer the language, the easier it is for the children to understand me.
Untying the k’NOT makes room for positive language and positive reactions. It untangles the word mess’age. I realized I could make life easier for myself as a parent by telling the children what I want to be done instead of what I don’t want. A clear example is how often we use the word “not.”
Give yourself a chance to think about your language.
Do you often use the word, not in your sentences?
- Don’t run!
- Don’t lick the knife?
- Don’t go in with your shoes on?
- Don’t fight!
- Don’t yell!
I see myself using or at least have used the word quite often. Did it become easier for my guys to understand what I wanted?
Forget it! “DON’T YELL!”
Now think about what you just said. How do you feel inside? Do you feel better? Does the child stop. Are you still a little annoyed? Perhaps you just lightly raised your voice? That’s how it was for me. The “NOT” is negative and sucks out loads of energy and creates a smokescreen to see and communicate what is wrong.
However, when I tried to say what I wanted of them, it went much better.
“Talk a little quieter, please … “
My guys got a clear picture of what I wanted, and it was easier for them to fulfill my wish. That result was good, but I also felt better because my brain focused on what makes me happy and satisfied and positive energy was communicated to the children. To further make myself and the children more comfortable I added a little extra … ..please 🙂
Willing to try?
Just be prepared for one thing. It takes time to find the words to say what you want instead of saying what you don’t want. You may learn that you have difficulty to get the words out and you may think they noticed your hesitation. Believe me; I’ve hesitated, sometimes with a breath and my children stood and waited for me to find the right words, I’ve learned those extra moments of investment pay off in a softer tone in our home and a happier feeling inside.
If you need to use the word NO, which you some times need use as a STOP make it noticeable – “unacceptable is unacceptable.” That means unacceptable or no needs to be the first word of a VERY SHORT sentence (2 words) and then immediately tell them what to do. Our kiddos whatever the flavor need to learn to live in their communities. Positive language changes the direction to help them get on the right path. – Ann Yurcek
I’d love to hear your experience when it comes noticing the difference in behavior depending on how you talk and what you say.
What’s it like in your family? Please comment what works – We are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!