Our words have the power to shape the minds and behaviors of our children. Our language and communication style impacts their self-esteem, emotional well-being, and overall development. Every interaction is an opportunity to build our children into the amazing individuals they are capable of becoming.
With consistent practice, positive parenting language creates an environment of peace and calm. Parent and child become a cohesive team, and conflicts find resolution in healthier, more constructive ways.
Here are some examples of ways we can provide positive language:
“I hear you”
This helps your child feel heard – like they’re not alone and their feelings are valid. Sometimes this phrase is all you need, other times it’s a great launching off point for other phrases, valuable lessons, or moments of connection.
“What do you need right now?”
This lets your child know you are there to help them, while also allowing them to listen to their own instincts of what they may need in the moment. It allows them space to meet their own needs, while showing them that you’ll always be there.
This provides a great alternative to “Don’t!” or “Stop!” as it takes on a more positive tone and is more effective. It lets your child know what is expected of them rather than just pointing out their mistakes and shows that you trust in their ability to fulfill those expectations.
Replace the words “I’m proud of you” with “You should be proud of yourself” to remind kids that their success should be celebrated by no one more than themselves.
As a caregiver we often get caught up in our own world, though through these simple little changes in our words, we have the power to create and shape our child’s response, confidence, and overall wellbeing.