Tuesday, August 20, 2013


  1. Instead of saying: “Look at you, you're such a good girl. You cleaned up all the paint by yourself.”
  2. Try saying: “You cleaned up the paint all by yourself! That was a big task. Thank you very much. That was helpful.”
  3. Child hears: I am helpful. I am capable. I can tackle big projects and see them through to the end. I am appreciated.
  4. ________________________________________________________
  5. Instead of saying: “I like it when you clean up the books.”
  6. Try saying: “You cleaned up the books all by yourself. Thank you. I appreciate it.”
  7. Child hears: I can make valuable contributions to our group.
  8. Instead of saying: “Good job!”
  9. ________________________________________________________
  10. Try saying: “You did it! You must be proud of yourself.”
  11. Child hears: I am capable. I can take pride in what I do.
  12. ________________________________________________________
  13. Instead of saying: “You drew a beautiful picture.”
  14. Try saying: “You have worked hard. Tell me about your favorite part.”
  15. Child hears: My opinions are valuable
  16. ________________________________________________________
  17. Instead of saying: “I love your dress (hair, shirt, etc).”
  18. Try saying: “You picked out your clothes today.”
  19. Child hears: I can make choices.
  20. ________________________________________________________
  21. Instead of saying: “You slept through the night (ate all your food, etc), what a good baby you are.”
  22. Try saying: “I love you.”
  23. Child hears: I am loved, and it’s not based on my behavior or biological drives.
  24. ________________________________________________________
  25. Instead of saying: “You have a stinky diaper, let’s change you.”
  26. Try saying: “You have poop in your diaper, you will feel better once you have a fresh diaper on.”
  27. Child hears: My body and my biological drives are o.k. and not something to be judged, but something to be respected.
  28. ________________________________________________________
  29. Instead of saying: "Stop screaming.”
  30. Try saying: “You are screaming. You are feeling strongly right now. Do you want my help?”
  31. Child hears: My feelings and needs are valid and important. I can meet my needs and seek help if necessary.
  32. ________________________________________________________
  33. Instead of saying: “Stop crying.”
  34. Try saying: “You are crying. You are feeling (identify the emotion). Do you want my help?”
  35. Child hears: My emotions are valid and important. I can regulate my emotions and seek help to soothe myself if I need to.
  36. ________________________________________________________
  37. Instead of saying: “Good boy/girl!”
  38. Try saying: “Thank you for…”
  39. Child hears: My worth does not depend on my behavior or others opinions of me. I am appreciated when I contribute to “the team."

  40. Taken from my friend Jess over at Life With Malakai.

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