First 5 LA Positive Parenting: 5 Things to Say to Your Child
Build a strong and positive relationship from the start by offering loving guidance and open communication with these five phrases for children ages 0-5:
- “Thank you.” Modeling gratitude and appreciation helps your child learn those qualities. When a child grows up with polite language, he or she is more able to manage social interactions throughout life. It is never too early to start.
- “Tell me more.” Letting a child know that you care about what they say builds confidence and helps them express thoughts and feelings safely. Encouraging a child to speak—even if it is just gurgling before he or she has words—helps build vocabulary and meets human needs for interaction and understanding, which helps a child feel secure, leading to positive behavior.
- “We all make mistakes.” Children and parents can both benefit from this message. Letting children know that it is okay to not get everything right encourages healthy risk-taking and learning. Accepting that learning desired behavior is a process can help parents feel less stressed.
- “What do you think might work?” Inviting children to give ideas to achieve desired behavior—from sharing to cleaning up—can help set rules and goals that everyone can live with. While it isn’t always possible to collaborate, engaging kids to solve an issue can take pressure off parents and empower and motivate change in children.
- “Yes.” Consider ways that you can change a negative response into something positive. When you can shift saying “no” or “don’t” into imagining a challenge to do something positive, it can lead to a more optimistic way of thinking and being. For example, “Don’t chase the birds,” might turn into a challenge of counting how many birds you see together.
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