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3 easy parenting tips

3 parenting tips: language switches

Quick changes of wording that will make a HUGE difference.

Our language matters, so here are 3 easy switches you can make that will help you become calm and confident in your parenting

1) Say 'Yes'

2) Say 'And'

3) Say 'I notice'

1) Say Yes!

Tell me the tip: Instead of telling our child 'Don't run', or 'Don't throw the ball', we instead tell them "Walk" or "Balls are for outdoors. You can play with the Duplo"

Best used with: a toddler

Why? Children under 4 don't really understand the word 'No', at least, not in the way we think they do. Their brains are still developing and when you speak, they make a picture in their head of the word. The word 'No' is abstract, and it's the absence of something. So when your 2 year old hears 'Don't run', the only word they can make a picture of is 'run'. So, guess what they do? Yes, you guessed it, they run! When we turn things around and explain to our kids exactly what we want them to do, it's much easier for them to follow our instructions.

2) Say 'And'

Tell me the tip: Instead of saying "I love you BUT", say "I love you AND"

Best used with: Children of primary age and above (5+)

Why?: If I said to you "I really enjoy our friendship but I think you need to go and meet some new mums", how do you feel? Do you think I actually enjoy our friendship?

Now, what if you substitute 'but' for 'and'? Try re-reading the sentence. It has a completely different feel, doesn't it. It's the same for your children. We can say 'I love you AND you can't have ice-cream right now', I love you AND it's time to leave the park.

3) Say 'I notice'

Tell me the tip: Instead of saying "you always", try "I notice"

Best used with: Especially useful with teens, can be used with children of primary age and above (5+)


Use 'I notice'..

Why? When we start a sentence off with 'you', we're talking about the other person's behaviour. That's going to make a switch in their brain, they will start to feel defensive. Then next, if we follow up with always/never, it's a double whammy! Imagine the scene: As you walked in the house, the phone rang, the dog needed feeding, and, of course, you needed to take off your mask and wash your hands. Then you go straight into getting some food ready for the evening meal. If someone walks into your lounge, and says to you "You ALWAYS leave your coat on the sofa, why can't you put it away?" then your response to them isn't likely to be very polite!!! Same for your teen. If instead we say "I notice that your coat is on the back of the chair, can you put it away before you go upstairs", (or even just the first half of the sentence) we are likely to get a more positive reaction.

Which one are you going to try today? Let me know

If you'd like to work further on switching up the way you parent, and getting your kids to listen without yelling, then get in touch for a free discovery call.


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