There is a saying that goes like this, "Do not worry that your children never listen to you, worry that they are always watching you." Children are like clay; they take shape in the way we mold them. Much of their early behaviors are a result of learning from what they see and hear. As parents, we always want to discipline our children and teach them the best of all manners. However, in our quest to shape our child into better human beings, we often end up focusing on all things our children do wrong, thereby bombarding them with negative language.
Little do parents realize that those negative remarks can leave the kids demoralized that they cannot do anything right, further leading to internal resistance and low self-esteem as they grow. It hampers their overall cognitive development. Therefore, it is best to adopt a positive discipline for toddlers.
This article will throw light on this parenting aspect, thereby providing you a toddler's guide to actual parenting.
Why stop negative language?
Science shows that when a child is told a no, their fight, flight, freeze, or faint to response is triggered, and in such a situation, the children are more likely to respond emotionally. This leaves the child feeling more angry, anxious, and powerless, culminating in low self-esteem as they grow up.
On the contrary, positive language has a much better effect as it makes them feel more valued, heard and adopt positive behavior in response. More so, it will help them develop good communication skills later in life. So let us now see how can you implement a positive behavior in your life and reinforce discipline in your child's
Common examples of negative words
We have provided you with some common examples of negative phrases that you might have been using all this while without even realizing the adverse effect it has on your kids-
What should you be saying instead?
Do not run
Please lower your voice
Do not take your sister's toys.
Can you please find something else to play with until your sister is done?
Do not hit
Please be gentle
You seem to be upset; tell me, what is bothering you?
There are times when phrases like "Stop this right now" or "Do not do that" become inevitable. We know, parenting toddlers is not an easy task. Sometimes we lose out patience while dealing with the situation. Still, try to make genuine and conscious efforts to look out and point out good behavior in your children with encouraging words. You will see how quickly you could turn their negative behavior and reinforce positive discipline.
Create a stress-free environment for them
Positive reinforcements create a positive culture within the house and keep it stress-free. This is easier said than done, especially for all those days when you are stressed and overworked; however, you got to take breaths and put more thought into your reactions. When you implement positive behavior in your actions, it gives your children clear guidance about what good behavior means without making them confused or feel bad for themselves.
Steps to get positive language
Positive language may not come quickly to everyone, so here are a few steps for how you can get started with it-
Identify the Negative language you are using-
You need first to be aware of what negative remarks you are using so you can rectify yourself (Examples of this are mentioned above). Think about what triggers you to lose the calm that might cause you to use negative language with your children. For instance, it could be a specific behavior in which your children behave or some work stress that could trigger your negative behavior. Finding out your triggers will help you to be prepared for such situations and help you overcome them.
Learn positive phrases and start implementing them-
Positive behavior takes time to be implemented, but you will get accustomed to using positive reinforcements to react to your child's actions over time. There is no one specific phrase to replace the "No," but you can continue reading positive words as it helps to embed positive language into your mind.
Set appropriate boundaries-
One of the most critical aspects of parenting toddlers is to set clear and appropriate boundaries with them. When your kids have a clear idea about what is right and what is wrong, it is much easier for them to do what is expected from them, and you will spend much less time correcting them. You need to set age-appropriate boundaries for your children.
Stressless and relax-
The last and most crucial step in our parenting toddlers guide is to relax. If you are constantly stressed about the mess or want things to be done perfectly and quickly, you will find yourself very stressed out as a parent who will turn into anger. Next time, if you feel impatient with your child because they are not doing something immediately, take a deep breath and stay calm. You will become a much happier parent when you start stressing less.
Does that mean you have to filter every negative phrase even when a 'No 'stop that right now is necessary? In all honesty, when you start implementing positive language, situations that demand a negative phrase become much rare.
I f you need more such parenting hacks and a comprehensive guide, you can head over to our blogs.
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