Mom Talk—The “Yes” Zone

Post by Jessica R.

When you have kids “No!” quickly becomes the most spoken word in your vocabulary.

“No! Don’t touch that!’

“No! You cannot have a cookie before dinner!”

“No! Do not dump all that water on the floor!”

You get so used to saying it that you barely hear yourself any more. The bad news is that your kids don’t hear it any more. You turn into a tired broken record and your children often don’t hear you until you’ve started screaming. And when they do, they throw a fit.

The good news is that you can turn your home into a “yes” zone.

Next time you open your mouth to tell your child not to do something, stop yourself and see if you can turn your negative statement into a positive one.

“Why don’t you play with this car instead of the knobs on the stove!”

“Sure you can have a cookie. After dinner.”

“I know! Let’s practice pouring water into a cup!”

The end result is that your child has not done what you didn’t want him to do, but you’ve turned the situation into a positive one and instead of having to deal with a tantrum, you have a happily redirected child.

Now, all that is fine when you’re just avoiding a mess in the bathroom or a ruined appetite, but what do you do when you’re dealing with a emergency or a dangerous situation.

Easy. You still don’t use “No!”

Since children don’t usually hear the word “no,” yelling it when they’re about to run head first into traffic doesn’t help anyway.

“Freeze!” “Hot!” “Danger” Are all words that very clearly illustrate why your voice has just gone up three octave. Even better they elicit an instant, usually positive, reaction.

It’s not easy to switch from the constant negatives to frequent positives, but the pay-offs are well worth it. Try it yourself and see!

Category: Baby & Family, Kids
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One Response to

  1. krellpw says:

    I can agree with trying to turn a negative into a positive in most situations, and it’s something I could probably work at doing more often. But for our family, when it comes to safety issues, “No” means ‘NO!”

    I’m sure the case could be made for it’s less about the words I use, and more about tone and emphasis in my voice, but when it comes to matters of safety. There’s no confusion in my childrens’ minds when I tell them, “no” that whatever activity they’re engaged in has to stop immediately.

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