This less-than-helpful word can be discouraging and confusing to kids when they hear it all the time, plus it only reinforces the bad behavior.
While it’s fine to say “no” and “don’t” sometimes, you’ll get more cooperation from your kids if you can avoid them.
Use these four strategies to cut back on the negatives and promote the positives:
Tell your kids what to DO. Start switching each “don’t” to a “do.” Instead of reminding your child, “Don’t track mud all over the floor!” try, “Please take off your shoes before coming into the house!” Swap, “Don’t chew on your sister’s
Lego’s,” with, “Please keep those out of your mouth.”
Just say “Yes!” While it’s quicker and easier to reply, “No,” when your child asks to go to the library while you’re knee-deep in closet re-organization, try substituting a, “Yes, that sounds great. I can take you later this afternoon
or tomorrow morning–which would you prefer?”
Replace, “No, you can’t go out and play. You haven’t finished your homework!” with, “You bet, you can play with your friends when you’ve finished your homework.”
Say thank-you in advance. Help your kids make an appropriate choice by taking this leap of faith. Your, “Thank you for hanging up your towel after your shower,” will encourage your kids toward good behavior much more than, “I better
not see your towel on the floor again!”
Another example: “Thank you for keeping all four chair legs on the floor,” will go over better than, “You’ll break your neck if you keep leaning back on your chair like that!”
Practice the positive through role-play. The most effective way to learn how to behave in a variety of situations is through proper training. Decide what kind of behavior you’d like your child to use (anything from taking turns to
addressing adults respectfully to making his bed properly), and then practice it in a low-pressure situation.
Role-playing with dolls or action figures will get younger kids excited, while a conversation (not a lecture) will help get older kids on board.
Making these changes to your communication style will require some effort on your part but the payoff will be worth it.
Your kids will feel more encouraged, they’ll develop a positive, empowered perception of themselves and you’ll enjoy better cooperation all around.
Looking for NO-YELLING strategies to get more cooperation from your kids? Join us for our FREE online class: How to Get Your Kids to LISTEN Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. Find upcoming dates and times here.
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