How to use the proactive language with children

Beware of the type of language you use in your child”s education

To propose is to offer an alternative, an option, an exit. Proposing is an always positive attitude. Do you now intuit what can be the proactive language? Propose + positive = proactive. A language of options, of alternatives, of proposals against imperative language, full of orders and denials.

Many pedagogues bet on the proactive language in the education of children. It is a language that does not punish, that does not humiliate and on the contrary, that offers a positive vision without renouncing the limits and norms. Do you want to learn how to use it? We explain how to use proactive language with children to educate your child in positive.

How to use proactive language with children to educate them in positive

We tend to use many denials, limitations and prohibitions throughout the day. We tend to use, unintentionally, a negative language with children: ”do not do that”, ”you will fall”, ”if you do not obey me I will punish you’…

The idea that defend countless pedagogues in favor of education in positive is to change our language, from negative, impulsive and imperative to provocative (more rational and positive). How to do it? We give you some examples:

  1. Instead of ”do not chew with your mouth open’, use better: ”chew with your mouth closed’. The first sentence tells the child something that is wrong, and has negative connotations. The second sentence gives a direct order and explains to the child how to chew. The same happens in the case that your child takes some food with his hands. Instead of saying: ”Don”t eat with your hands!’ try an alternative of what you should do: ”Use the fork to eat’. 
  2. Instead of scolding your child when he holds something fragile or sees that he improperly uses a toy with a ”You”re going to break it!” , better use a ”You must be careful”. In the first way, you condition the child and put him on alert about something that has not yet happened. So to speak, you”re blaming him for something that hasn”t happened yet. Otherwise, you warn him of what can happen but you give him an alternative so that it doesn”t happen.
  3. Instead of scolding him when he speaks too loudly or is too loud with the classic: ”Don”t make noise!’ opt better for a ” Keep silent’. In this way, you will exchange a ”scolding” for an alternative, something that must be met.
  4. When your child is going to play something that you consider dangerous or should not touch, instead of reacting in an altered way with a ”Don”t touch that!” , better propose to observe it without touching it or looking at it with your help: ”Do you want to see what it is? I show it to you or ”Do you want us to see what it is together?”
  5. When you want to warn your child or explain that he should be more cautious, we usually use negative phrases such as ” you’re going to fall!’. It is better to look for a phrase that warns without frightening or adding negative connotations, for example: ”look well where you put your feet so as not to fall’. In this second sentence, you warn the child of what can happen without anticipating something that has not yet happened.
  6. It is very common to ”scold” children when they cry, with phrases like ”don’t cry!’,”don’t cry about nonsense!” … ”For those things he doesn”t cry!” These phrases all they do is tell children that it is wrong to manifest emotions, and inhibit basic emotions do not benefit you at all. Before saying any of these phrases, change them for these others: ”It is normal for you to be sad”, ”what can we do to solve the problem?’… ‘urely we can find something to heal your wound.” Always offer an alternative.

Why proactive language with children is so beneficial

The proactive language invites action, participation of the child. It offers you an alternative, something that is also rational and makes sense and makes you feel part of your achievements. These are the benefits if you apply it in your education:

– Strengthen your self-esteem.

– Offers you alternatives.

– Improves problem solving.

– It helps you generate positive thinking.

– Follow the rules more easily.

– Improves the relationship with parents.

– Do not feel threatened, so you are more receptive to change.

– It helps you to be more rational and less impulsive.

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