Supporting Behaviour: What to say

Supporting Behaviour: What to say

It sounds really nit-picky, but the language you use matters. Kind, calm boundary setting can replace any shouting, threatening or saying "no" and is also much more effective. Not only that - it doesn't burn the relationship between you and your perfect little person. If you're finding you're shouting a lot or saying "no" a lot and your little one's behaviour is still difficult to manage - it's probably time for a change.

REMEMBER: children aren't naughty. They WANT to behave (it feels better in their bodies) and they'll behave if they can. But their brains are underdeveloped and every single thing they do all day every day is a learning experience. When children test boundaries, think of it like a little science experiment. "If I do this, what will happen? Will it break? Will that person cry? Will I get my toy back? Will the food split? Will mummy shout? Will they still love me?". Children HAVE to test boundaries to learn the answers to those questions and it's OUR JOB with our fully developed brains to help them with boundaries. It's not being strict and it's not being 'airy fairy' to not say"no". It's setting a clear, firm boundary but kindly!

'I' statements are key. It makes you in charge and in control of the rule. You're owning it and setting it right this moment. "I can't let you hit. I won't let you bite me. I can't let you touch that". Just say it calmly and almost like you're bored.
'WE' sentences aren't as powerful. Its kinda like saying "we don't hit and currently you ARE hitting so you're breaking all the family rules - you're naughty". Their one slip-up in that moment is ousting them from the 'we' group.


If you say "i can't let you touch that" and they try again, get closer and gently catch their hand or support them to move away. Kindly and calmly. They're not in trouble - they are just so into the science experiment that they don't have the self control to stop. You're there to help them.

Have you tried some gentle parenting? Have you noticed it working? Share in the comments to inspire other parents!

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

No comments