Monday, November 14, 2011

Messages We Send in Parenting

Last year I tweeted about the words we say to children. Often we're innocent to the discouraging messages behind our words and, over time, those messages have a collective, disheartening effect on kids.

Kids With Thumbs Up Royalty Free Stock Images - 23764349Consider these common (I've said 'em, too!) statements:
"Be Careful!" could send the message, "The world is a scary place."
"Shame on you!" could send the message, "Discourage yourself."
"Be nice" may be heard as, "You're not usually nice."
"Stop being so sensitive" can mean, "Don't express your emotions" or "Don't feel."

Here are positive - or encouraging - words that mean the same but send a different message:
Rather than "Be Careful!" say, "Take care of yourself."
Instead of, "Shame on you!" say, "I've made bad choices too."
Replace, "Be nice" with "Make sure your friends win too."
For "Stop being so sensitive" say, "I like that you're listening to your feelings."

None of these condone inappropriate behavior. But they do make your guidance more of a teaching tool.

In your daily discipline - reframe your words to send uplifting messages.(Tweet that) You aren't diluting your authority or discipline, you're merely being skillful
in discipline, you're doing it with a powerful, positive alternative.

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