Advice For Parents: Choosing Your Words Carefully

 A lot of children have selective hearing; have you noticed? Some of this selective hearing is planned and some isn’t. They really don’t hear us correctly sometimes. We can do something to make sure this doesn’t happen as often.

Have you ever said don’t run down the hall, and the first thing your child does is run down the hall? My mom used to say to me, “Don’t talk back to me.” The first thing I did after this instruction was talk back to her. Strange.

It is never a good idea to start an instruction with the word don’t, because whatever you say after don’t might be the part of the instruction that they think they have to follow. Here is a classic example.

I saw a grandmother tell a little boy, “Here is the dirty diaper. It needs to go out. Don’t put that diaper in the middle of the garage this time.”

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