Positive Reinforcement: 9 Things You Shouldn't Say to Your Child
Learn what phrases to banish from your vocabulary and how to talk so your kids will really listen
Who in this world of back-to-back appointments, overbooked schedules, sleep deficits, and traffic snarls hasn't uttered these immortal words?
Certainly every parent whose toddler can't find his shoes or blankie or who's blissfully oblivious of anything but putting on his socks "all by self!" has. Consider, though, your tone of voice when you implore a child to hurry, and how often you say it.
If you're starting to whine, screech, or sigh every day, with your hands on your hips and your toes tapping, beware. There's a tendency when we're rushed to make our kids feel guilty for making us rush. The guilt may make them feel bad, but it doesn't motivate them to move faster.
"It got so hectic at my house in the mornings, I hated that the last image my kids had of me was being angry," says family therapist Paul Coleman, author of How to Say It to Your Kids. "So I made a pact with myself. No matter what, I wouldn't yell or roll my eyes even if someone spilled their Cheerios or asked me to find something just as we were heading out." Rather than hectoring ("I told you to turn off that TV five minutes ago!"), he looks for calm ways to speed things along (he turns off the set himself).
Next: Why "Great job!" isn't the best praise