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Positive Language: A Great Parenting Tool Needed For Shaping Kids


Do you know that positive language matters a lot with children? It’s no secret that the words we use have a powerful impact on them. What you say to child kid matters a lot. Therefore, it is advisable to use words that build them up.


The way we talk to them affects their mood, self-esteem, and how they view themselves. Whenever you speak to them, always address them in a way they understand and by being specific about things they can do and cannot. Apart from the task you need them to perform, there might be others they do not want to do.


WHY POSITIVE LANGUAGE?

It is so important to use positive language when talking to our children. Positive languages have the power to build them up, make them feel good about themselves, allow them to make the right choices and encourage them to keep going even when they face setbacks. It also affirms a child’s ability, tells them how to do certain things, which helps to build their confidence and self-esteem.


On the other hand, negative words can be discouraging and lead to low self-esteem. It focuses on what children are doing wrong. Negative language criticizes their actions and makes them feel bad about themselves. It makes them feel like they are not good enough and can’t do anything right. This impression affects them negatively over time, even when they are among their peers.


As a parent, it can be hard to use positive language, but when it becomes a part of you, you’ll observe that your child behaves better (just how you’ve wanted it). So, try and find a way of rephrasing negative languages like “no..., stop..., and don’t... in a positive way. Therefore, let’s discard negative language and start using positive languages that build kids up!


What are the positive languages you should use, and why are they essential to kids’ learning and growth? What are the tips for using positive language under challenging instances?


When you use positive language, you are not only encouraging your kids to keep going. You are also teaching them important life lessons. For example, if you tell your child, “Good job!” “You worked so hard and finally put your toys back in place.” They’ll learn to persevere even when they are not motivated to do things.


Did you know that kids who were not praised for their intelligence are more likely to give up when encountering a difficult task? In contrast, kids praised for their effort are more likely to keep going and persevere.


This shows us that the words we use make a big difference on how kids view themselves and their abilities. We help kids build their confidence and resilience when we use positive language.


Remember that the words you use matter. Here are some examples of positive phrases you can use with your kids:

  • “You worked so hard.”

  • “Good job!”

  • “I believe in you.”

  • “You are trying your best and I’m proud of you.”

  • “You are on the right track.”

  • “You’re such a great helper.”

Let’s look at some ways to use positive language effectively with our kids!


When using positive language, try to: 

  • Use specific praise. Let your child know exactly what you are proud of them for. For example, “Great job on your spelling test!” or “I love the way you helped your sister.”

  • Avoid using generalizations. For instance, “You’re such a good girl” or “You are so smart.” These statements don’t tell kids what they did that was good.

  • Use encouraging words as it will keep them improving. Phrases like “keep up the good work,” “I know you can do it,” and “you are almost there”. It will help kids feel motivated and inspired.

  • Avoid using negative words. Even if you’re trying to give constructive criticism, avoid harsh or judgmental words. For instance, “That was a terrible job you did,” or “You are so lazy.” These words will only make them feel bad about themselves.

  • Use first-then language to give clear instructions and expectations. Let’s say your kids want to eat chocolate, but you want them to use their medicine. You could say, “First, use your medicine, and then get as many chocolates as possible.


There are times when it will be hard to find the right words. So, what are some tips for using positive language in difficult situations?

  1. Take a good breath and count to 10 before you speak. This will help you avoid saying something you might later regret.

  2. Avoid using “You” statements. For instance, instead of saying, “You are driving me crazy,” try saying, “I’m feeling frustrated right now.” This doesn’t completely shift the blame to them.

  3. Use “I” to express how you’re feeling. For instance, “I’m feeling really angry right now,” or “I’m feeling really sad.”

  4. Be mindful of the tone of your voice. Even if you’re using positive language, your tone can convey a different message. Therefore, try to keep your tone calm and respectful.

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