Sometimes I get to the end of the day and I feel like all I’ve done is say no and don’t to the kids 5,000 times and tell them to stop doing stuff.
The no’s and the don’ts are tiring and not fun — for me or for the kids — and they aren’t especially effective. That’s why we have to say them a million times.
And you know what we are doing when we are replying with an automatic “NO!” to our kids repeatedly throughout the day?
We are inviting the same response from them when we ask them to do anything. We are modeling the replies that drive us crazy.
So we are a big part of the problem.
If you are also feeling like a “No Monster” try this approach… instead of telling the kids what they can’t do, tell them what they can do.
Instead of saying, “No, you can’t have juice,” say, “You can have water or milk. You choose!”
Instead of saying, “DON’T RUN IN THE HOUSE!!!” say, “Walk, please!” or “Who wants to show me how you walk in the hallways at school?”
Instead of saying, “Don’t hit!” say, “Touch nicely.” (And then show how to touch nicely).
Instead of saying, “Don’t touch my phone,” say, “You can play a game on the computer.”
Instead of saying, “STOP FIGHTING,” say, “Outside,” or, “It’s compliment time!”
Put the emphasis and focus on the behaviors you’d like to see rather than the ones you don’t want to see.
The more you practice this, the more natural it will become and your interactions with your kids will become less negative, and more positive.
And when that happens, there is a much better chance your children will begin to adopt those same responses themselves, and life will be a little bit better, and a lot more positive, not just for you, but for everyone in your home.