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You might say, “Erin, if you choose to poke your sister again, you choose to not watch TV for the rest of the day”.This clearly communicates the expectation and the consequence, without a threat.I have spent a good deal of time on articles on the difference between Praise vs. This can sometimes present itself in an argumentative manner, but this is actually a normal part of development.Encouragement, and this phrase is arguably the most commonly spoken praise children hear. Instead of cutting off the conversation, you can say, “I know you want my answer to be different, but it will not change”.Second, the threat is usually not something that is feasible to do (we are going home, you are going straight to bed, you don’t get dinner, you are grounded for a week, etc.) What we say in frustration is not only impractical but easily forgettable. You can train yourself to be clear and concise, using choices.“If you choose to (continue that behavior), you choose to (receive whatever consequence has already been established as a punishment)”.A kid can sit down on a chair facing the back, and we make them turn around.Train yourself to acknowledge their behavior without a judgment, such as “You chose to sit the other way on the chair” or “You colored the grass purple instead”.
We wish you could visualize what’s going on inside our brains—you might be surprised!
I realize that using Play Therapy based language is a learned and practiced skill that requires time and effort, so I thought it would be helpful to share ten commonly used phrases parents say to their kids.
I will also give the Play Therapy based alternative with a short explanation of why it is more effective.
Here are six illustrations of what it’s like to be in our heads.
Let’s keep our discussions reflective, productive, and welcoming.Kids hear the word “no” far too frequently (Read more about that here).