The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: What DO you want your kids to do?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What DO you want your kids to do?

So often, I go to the mall or other public place and hear parents utter this caution: "Don't do that!"  I can't think of a worse way to tell children how they are supposed to behave.  Why?  Two reasons:  (1) Don't is an invisible word.  When you tell children don't to this or you can't do that, they don't hear the "don't," they only hear what they're NOT supposed to do!  So when you tell your child, "Don't hit the dog," he only hears "hit the dog."  (2) When you said "Don't do THAT, you aren't telling your child what THAT is! 

So what can you say instead?  Simply tell your children what you DO want them to do.  Here's an example if the child is hitting the dog:  "Go outside and bounce the basketball."  That statement gives your child something he can legally hit without injuring anybody else.  See the relationship?  Redirect your child to something he wants to do that is socially acceptable.

I can't emphasize enough how important it is to remain positive when dealing which children.  Tell them what you DO want them to do.  Reward positive behavior with positive reinforcement.   When you stay positive, so will your children!

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