The Power of Positive Language

What does it mean to use "positive language"?  Contrary to popular belief, positive language is not the same as positive reinforcement or praise!  "Positive language" refers to language that tells a child what he or she should be doing rather than what he or she should not be doing (this would be "negative language").

Let's look at an example...

A common example of negative language is telling a child, "no running!" (this tells the child what not to do).  We can easily turn this into a positive statement by saying, "we need to walk" (this tells the child what he or she should be doing).  Do you see the difference?  In the second example we are providing the child with information about the right thing to do rather than simply telling the child what he or she is doing wrong.  By using positive language, we are making the expectations clear and providing our children with instruction rather than reprimand.  This is more productive and lends itself to more pleasant interactions!  You become your child's guide and teacher, not only his corrector and punisher.  Make sense?  We can turn any negative statement into a positive one--try practicing and see what happens!

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