Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Breed Positivity, Speak Positively!

Breed positivity with a positive way of speaking! This was one of the theories I mentioned in this earlier post. Given that kids repeat everything they hear, it is also good that they hear positively phrased statements and learn that from young :)
My happy trio: Isaac, Shawna  & Asher | Circa April 2012

Here's a list of what I usually say to the kidzes as opposed to their commonly used alternatives.

SAY: Please be a good boy.
NOT: Don't be naughty!

SAY: Please be polite. / That's not polite.
NOT: Don't be rude! / That's rude!

SAY: Please speak softly.
NOT: Don't be so loud!

SAY: Be gentle, please.
NOT: Don't be so rough!

SAY: That's not nice.
NOT: That's horrible!

SAY: Please move aside.
NOT: Go away!

Just keep talking like that and soon it'd become second nature and you won't even notice it. In fact, it comes naturally to me now, such that, there're more examples but I can't think of it at the moment. Thus, I'd add on to this post, as and when it occurs to me.

Meanwhile, tell me, what other positive phrases do YOU use? Add to my list, please! :)

SAY: Please brush your teeth if you want them to look nice and feel clean.
NOT: You better brush your teeth, if not, they will all rot until black black and drop out!
(reminded by June Yong :p Thanks!)

SAY: Please come over and wear your shoes. Please hurry, we're running late and Grandpa doesn't like to wait.
NOT: Wear your shoes NOW! FASTER! Late already!! You don't wear now, I'm going to leave without you!
(reminded by Lyndis Lee :p Thanks!)

SAY: Please don't climb. Please come down. I want you to be safe. I don't want you to get hurt. Would you like me to read you a book? (or something - to distract the kid)
NOT: Don't climb! You want to fall down and break your head, is it?!
(reminded by NerdyMum :p Thanks!)


  1. I will try this, before the boy starts asking (which I think he will) how come his Daddy and Mummy practise double standards. Haha!!

  2. Try it! Needs loads of practice. DaddyMoo will follow your example the more he hears you say it. That's what happened with SpideyHubbs :p

  3. SAY: Pls brush your teeth.
    NOT: You don't brush your teeth, they all drop out then you know!

    Oops, I think I use too much negative-speak. :(

    1. Thanks for the reminder, June! I'm very guilty of this actually!!! hahahaha... The more frustrated we are, the harder it is to remain positive. But we must try!!! :p

  4. I've been wondering, how to positively say "Stop that (NOW!)"? Need something short and sharp so that they get it straight away! :D

    1. "Stop that, PLEASE!" ??? hahaha... It's in the tone as well. And I think, in cases of emergency, better to quickly get the desired behaviour (of stop touching the fan? fire? electric socket?) with a quick, firm and stern tone. Then deal with the pleasantries later.

  5. When Sophie starts whining, I'll tell her that I only listen to nice voice, not whiny voice.
    And of course whenever I catch her doing something well, I'll praise her. Like when she's polite or minds her Ps and Qs, I'll let her know that such behavior is how a good girl behaves. She's gets very proud of it.

    1. Yes, Isaac's like that as well. So I do make a conscious effort to praise him for good behaviour - especially in situations which he normally reacts negatively but responded positively this time round, I make sure to draw attention to it and thank him for being a good boy.

  6. can't remember who posted before on this but all i remember now about positive speak is yoda speak :)
    good reminder. Something I try to do but it's hard for grandparents.

    so what is the positive way to say: DON'T CLIMB! if not fall down....

    1. Oh thanks for the reminder. I always say this:

      Please don't climb. Please come down. I want you to be safe. I don't want you to get hurt. Would you like me to read you a book? (or something - to distract the kid)

  7. I always *try* to start my sentences with "Shall we" or "Can you"... and end my sentences with "Please"... Actually I realise when I want my girl to do something, I always pose it as a question.
    (1) Can you help Mama take that here please...
    (2) You want to go potty chair?
    (3) How about this one instead?

    but there are just so many times I lose my patience with her that I just end up screaming. :(

    1. Ah yes yes, I do the question thingy too. So it seems like they have a choice of whether to do it, but thankfully they're usually eager to help so they will do it.

      And, I know what you mean. Sometimes I lose form and lose my patience too. Sighz!

  8. Yup, been applying this since I read a book abt it sometime ago. Even for instructions and not discipline, I am working on always saying please. like "please come over and wear your shoes" instead of "wear your shoes NOW! FASTER! Late already!!"

    Alongside, I'm still working on the soft but firm tone/glare, vs yelling for immediate results, so 失态 esp in public haha!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hahaha yes I agree. So 失态 if we scream in public. Thanks for the reminder, updated the post with your input :)

  9. Love this entry! We all need reminders like these! And after reading this, I'm somehow even,more conscious of how I talk. One of my friends actually shared with me before how there's a significant change in her kids' behaviour when she uses the right words instead of just raising voices or saying no. :)


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