“Stop doing that! You are going to get hurt.” Or “Be careful, that can hurt you. Play on the slide instead, please.” The first one is easy. It’s a quick response. But it is also very negative. The first one, though maybe not your first instinct, is doing several things that you may not realize. And it helps you use more positive language when speaking to your kids.
Why You Need To Use Positive Language To Speak To Your Kids
Kids are influenced by everything we do and say. They repeat everything. So being positive when we speak to them is crucial.
It is good for developing the voice they use to speak to themselves. And you want that voice to be a positive one. So make sure that you are speaking to them that way as often as possible.
One more quick reason, you want your kids to learn that they should be kind to others. And when they are young they will speak to everyone the same. If they speak to themselves or you in a negative way, they will do that to others as well. Their friends and teachers, will be spoken to that way. And you don’t want that to happen.
To give you child some set items to focus on and keep them busy, maybe you should consider what chores you give them. Check out my Resource Library to get a FREE printable worksheet to decide what chores are right for your child!
How To Use Positive Language To Speak To Your Kids
There are a few ways that you can start using more positive language in your life. And all of them will affect the way that you speak to your kids and how they speak to themselves. If you want to learn more about how to talk to your kids I highly recommend reading How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
1. Be kind to yourself
This is the ABSOLUTE most important one. You need to be able to look in the mirror and say something nice to yourself. Every. Single. Day.
If everything your child hears you say about yourself is negative, they will repeat that.
Don’t say, “I need to lose weight. I’m fat.” Say “I am going to eat healthy and go for a walk today because it will make me feel better about myself.”
Simply changing the perspective makes a huge difference. And it is also training you to take action instead of feel down about yourself and complain. You will be more motivated to make the change. And your kids will be there doing it too.
2. Be kind to others
This can be a hard one sometimes. Speak to everyone you come across in a respectful matter. Even those who are being disrespectful and rude. You showing your kids that handling something in a kind and productive way, especially something negative, will have a great impact.
It will make them want to grow up to do things like you. And teach them to try to see the positive side of things. As well as look at the fact that others may not always be able to.
3. Take a breath
This is something that I often do.
When your child is doing something they are not supposed to be doing. For the 300th time in an hour. It can be next to impossible not to just yell at them. I often catch myself just in time to saying something that I don’t really mean. Or that I may say in one way but a child will remember it another way.
Tobias (1yr9mo) was playing with Temperance (6mo) and she was laying on the floor on her back. He was giving her a pacifier to put in her mouth. She started to reach for her teething next to her so he picked it up to give to her. But when he couldn’t put it in her mouth like the pacifier he got frustrated that she wasn’t doing it right. So he set it on her face and pushed it down. I stopped him immediately by yelling to get his attention as quickly as possible and pushing his chest back softly so he would tip back and sit on the floor.
But the damage was done. Temperance was screaming and he was crying because I yelled at him and pushed him. I started to say something that I am thankful I stopped because it should never be said to a child. At least not in my house.
“Why would you do that? What is wrong with you?”
I stopped myself after the first word of the second question. Because I realized what he was going to hear. And if I had said it I don’t know that I would’ve been able to ever forget it.
Now, I meant it as another version of ‘why would you do that.’ Because I was upset and he hurt his sister. And I’ve heard people say the phrase “what is wrong with you?’ many times. But think about Tobias would’ve heard.
“There is something wrong with you. I don’t know what it is but I am disgusted by it.”
That is what it would’ve been on the receiving end. And that, though he is young to remember it right now, could change the way that he thinks about himself for a lot of his life. Or at least what he believes I think about him.
If I had stopped and paused after I removed them both from the harmful situation. If I had taken 2 seconds to take a breath and compose myself. That never would’ve been that close.
So when you are upset and on your last nerve with your kids, stop for just a second. And take a breath.
If it is a dangerous activity, stop the activity and before any punishment is handed out, take a breath. Compose yourself. Then handle it.
Close your eyes. Take a breath. And think about what you are going to say. Your tone. Your words. They matter.
Discipline, of course, matters and is necessary to raise a good child to be a great adult. But being fair and kind in your discipline is possible. And it will make you feel better afterwards, less like you are just being mean.
If you take the extra seconds to think about what words you are going to use when you speak to your kids, you will make a HUGE difference in what they learn. It is worth the extra time to train yourself to speak this way.
It will be better for you. And for your kids.
You can have a more positive household if you do these 3 action steps as often as you can. You’ve got this!
If you liked this method and these ideas, please share on Pinterest and Facebook so other moms can try it too!
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