12 positive phrases that motivate kids to do the right thing
By: Colleen Temple
Originally Published on mother.ly
As parents, we want to be able to guide and shape our children in the most positive ways possible.Wouldn’t it be nice if we could eliminate frustration—for both parents and kiddos—simultaneously getting rid of any yelling or negative talk or unhelpful answers due to a lack of patience?
It would be nice! But, we aren’t magicians exactly. However, we do have amazing, intelligent and insightful experts on hand to help guide us all in the ways of positive parenting.
So we turned to them to help us find positive phrases to use with our kids to encourage and inspire them to do their best, to help out and to listen.
Here are 12 ways to increase positive interactions with your children.
Parenting expert, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and founder of Aha! Parenting, Dr. Laura Markham suggests these helpful tips.
1. Steer clear from evaluation.
Instead, focus on process and describe the effort the child’s making. “Wow! You’ve been reading that book for a long time and you didn’t give up when there were words you didn’t know!” is much more motivating than, “What a good reader you are!”
“What a great painting! You’re such a good artist!” rings hollow to a child, who knows she is not a great artist. Instead, notice what the child did, show interest and ask the child to reflect on the painting. “I see lots of blue over here, and lots of green over here. Tell me about this painting!
2. Be as specific as possible.
About what you see, what you like, what your child did. This shows you really value what you see, and helps the child see the value in what they did. Instead of “Good job!” try “I see you put all the blocks in their bin and all the Legos in their bin. Wow!”
If you’re noticing that the trucks are still on the floor, always start with the positives you notice, before you frame what still needs to be done as a positive: “The only thing left now is to drive the trucks up to their place on the shelf. Want to show me how you do that?”
3. Avoid comparison among siblings or friends.
You may think you’re being positive when you say “Thank goodness you like homework and I don’t have to hound you the way I do your brother!” but you’re setting up a situation where the child is only good enough if his brother doesn’t do homework.
There is never a reason to compare. Just say “I love that you just sit down and do your homework when you get home!”
4. Give your child the credit and the power.
It’s fine to tell your child that you’re proud of him, but be clear that he’s the one who gets credit for the achievement and he’s the one who’s entitled to evaluate it. “You must be so proud of yourself!”
5. Be enthusiastic!
All children need encouragement and warmth. Be sure to tell your child all day long all the things you appreciate.