We want to discipline our children and teach them the best of all manners. However, in our quest to make our child a good person we often bombard them with certain commands and negative language. These have an adverse effect on their overall cognitive development. It is therefore essential for all parents to adopt ‘Positive Parenting’ in their behaviour, actions, words and thoughts.
Negative language impacts a child negatively. Discipline worded negatively is harsh and discouraging for the children. When we tell our children to ”Stop” or “Don’t do that” we leave them confused and wondering – “Why am I wrong? What should I do instead?” Our approach should be to tell them the correct alternative to an incorrect behaviour. On the other hand, positive language tells them what to do instead and eliminates confusion. It reinforces good behaviour. It teaches your child to be positive in the long run.
Let’s take a look at the various ways to inculcate positivity in your language and expressions –
A. Replace “Don’t” with Alternatives
1. Don’t run – Walk slowly
2. Don’t shout/yell – Talk softly
3. Don’t interrupt me – Wait a Moment for your turn to talk/Please wait for me to finish speaking
4. Don’t play with the ball in the house – Please go outside and play with the ball
5. Don’t slam the door – Kindly close the door gently
B. Avoid saying “Stop” and “No”
1. Stop fighting/No fighting – Be gentle with others
2. Stop Crying – You seem upset, tell me what’s wrong
3. Stop whining – Please use a calm voice
4. No, you cannot eat that – That is very unhealthy, let’s get you a healthier, tastier option
5. No, you cannot do that – That is very dangerous for you, please be more responsible
C. Using Positive Conditionals to get things done –
1. If you don’t finish your lunch, you will not get any ice-cream – Once you finish your lunch, you will get some ice-cream
2. If you don’t finish your homework now, you will not get to play – Finish your homework and we can play afterwards!
While these examples are very basic, if you can keep the crux of these in mind every day while interacting with your child, you will start seeing a difference soon. It does not matter what age group your child is in, the positive language will impact them – from infants to teenagers and also adult children. Your children need to feel that their parents have always got their back and are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Instead of being counter-productive and spoiling your child, this will boost positivity in them. When you provide “Open arms and a listening ear” your children will be more honest and upfront.
Let us know if you want positive alternatives for any particular statement and we will get back to you!