How often do you find yourself saying “don’t do that!” ??
Wayyyy too many, right?
I have a solution for you…. Are you ready?!
The next time you say don’t, quickly follow it up with what you want your child to do.
There are two main reasons why:
- When someone says “don’t” what do you automatically think about? The thing they just said not to do. We have learned as adults how to switch from don’t look and interpret that as look somewhere else. Kids haven’t learned this yet.
- Telling kids what not to do is only sort of helpful. You’re dodging the problem, not telling them how to make a better choice. Underneath all of their boundary-pushing cuteness, they really do want to appease you and do the “right” thing. By telling them what to do instead of what not to do, you are teaching them the desired behavior when in that situation. This makes it easier for them to make the right choice next time!
|Instead of this||Say this (or follow up with this)|
|Don’t lick that||Tongue stays in your mouth.|
|Don’t eat that||That stays on the table/floor.|
|Don’t touch that||I think this one’s my favorite because you can have fun with it! Hands up!Quick, clap your hands!High fiveTouch your toes!Show me how many fingers you haveThen, afterwards you can teach them why they keep their hands off said unsafe thing.|
after you’ve given the redirect, move on to something else that requires them to think about something that uses a different sense.
*crafting and your child sticks out his/her tongue and leans to lick the glitter*
Parent says: Stop! Tongue stays in your mouth. Wow look how pretty this glitter looks, what colors do you see?
Now it’s your turn! You’re ready to give it a go and let me know!!