By Dr. Gwen Smith

When communicating with your child, no matter what the situation, as much as possible, frame your words from a positive perspective, instead of negatively. It may not always be possible, when driving a point home, or during teachable moments, however, it can become the norm instead of the exception. So instead of saying, “Stop being mean and disrespectful”, say instead “Be kind and respectful at all times” Our brain has a way of latching on to the negative which may cause the opposite effect of your communication to be displayed in your child’s behavior. Repeatedly choosing a positive frame of reference may also shape your child’s frame of reference in whether they have an optimistic approach to living. Here are some other examples excerpted from an upcoming seminar and book which will serve to guide you:

Instead of sayingSay
Parent of a very young child
“It’s bedtime. I want you to get in bed right now.
If you don’t, you will not get a story read to you tonight.”
“It’s bedtime. Hurry and get in bed.
As soon as you do I’ll read your favorite story.”
Parent of elementary child
“How many times do I have to tell you not to
leave the computer on all night?
You do it again, and you won’t be using it for a week.”
“It’s very important that you turn off the computer each
night when you are finished using it.
So long as you turn it off, you can continue to use it to play
games every evening when your homework is done.”


Stay tuned for more resources and tips on communicating and building a loving legacy in your family.

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  1. entrepreneurship

    The formatting of your post is great. Easy to read, digest and share.

  2. baby

    Wow, it’s no surprise why you have so many individuals following you online.


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