When you’re just getting started with training your mind to avoid the negative words, it can be a challenge and you’re really going to need to think about it.
Thank goodness I have some suggestions for you so you don’t have to think as hard as I once had to when training my brain to be positive!
Let’s remember gentle hands
(“No Hitting” “Stop Fighting”)
Outside is a good place for being loud
(No Shouting Inside The House!)
Let’s try to breathe through these yucky feelings
(Calm Down, Stop Crying, No Whining)
Let’s use kind words, please
(Don’t say that, Don’t talk like that)
Shoes are for your feet, remember?
(Stop throwing your shoes around the house)
Why don’t you ask if you can use it when he is finished
You really want to play with that, don’t you? What could you say to her instead?’
It’s windy outside today, let’s check the weather and see if tomorrow is good to take a walk
(No, we can’t walk today)
Your toy car will be waiting for you at home when we are all finished our grocery shop
(No you can’t bring your toy car)
Let’s play at the park a different day, today we have so many other things we need to get done and I need your help!
(No park today)
Remember to walk in the house, please
(No running in the house!)
If we eat all the popsicles in one day, there won’t be any left for tomorrow. And if you have too many, your tummy might get sore! Let’s save some for tomorrow.
(No more popsicles)
There are a few more things that we need to do before we can watch a show, let’s go do them now and I’ll put on your favourite show right after.
(No TV right now)
Are you feeling frustrated when the boxes fall down? How can you solve this problem?
(Stop crying, they are just boxes)
When you as open-ended questions instead of giving a command, you are giving your child the opportunity to think about something else instead of the issue at hand.
Reminding children what the positive phrases are so that they can use them as well is also important. For instance:
Jonny says: Play cars with me.
You can respond with “We invite instead of order around, right?”
My favourite thing my son does right now at dinner time when there is something on his plate that he doesn’t like the looks of, he says ” This is different!” when I KNOW he means to say “this looks yucky and I don’t want to try it”.
Children learn from us, so if we can use positive language when speaking to them, they will, in turn, use positive language to speak to us back.
Speaking To Children Respectfully
The point of Gentle Parenting isn’t to simply stop sounding like an army general commander who constantly orders their children around.
There is more to it than that. The point of speaking to children in a respectful manner is to simply create strong bonds and unbreakable family ties.
I know I strive to create a family environment that is positive, welcoming and we treat each other well.
There are many hard days in our household, and it feels like sometimes, there isn’t enough patience – on my end – to go around.
But the thing is, I know that when I yell instructions at my kids, things don’t get accomplished, and I end up either having to do it myself or yelling some more.
These kinds of situations that are frustrating beyond belief, can usually be wiped out completely with some positive language.
Building that trust with your children when you use positive phrases builds strong relationships and children usually believe that the parent is on their side and will work to make things fair for everyone.
Sometimes even the kindest parents are giving some type of order to children throughout the day. Throughout the morning rush, do you say things like:
- Time to get dressed!
- Put that away.
- Wash your face, please.
- Don’t forget your jacket.
- Come here.
Those are pretty standard phrases, and honestly, most of them can be modified to not sound like orders. Children likely get a hundred orders a day from us, and the simple fact of the matter is, they don’t need to be ordered. They can be conversations instead.
See how you can easily change those orders into conversations:
- How about we get dressed now? I’ve got breakfast waiting for you when you’re all dressed and ready to eat.
- Do you think we can play with that later? There is so much left to do this morning, let’s finish our to-do list and then we can play.
- Oh my goodness, you still have breakfast on your face! Why don’t you go rinse off your face before we leave the house?
- It’s a little chilly today, let’s grab your jacket just in case you need it.
- I have something I wanted to say to you, would you like to come over here and hear it?