“Scolding” your children is telling them they are doing something wrong. It is negative and may allow your child to feel unacceptable or incompetent. Let’s take the positive approach.
For example, if you want your child to pick up their toys, instead of saying, “Don’t leave your toys on the floor,” say, “Let’s pick up your toys so no one trips over them or gets hurt.”
Another example would be if you want your child to do their homework, instead of saying, “You can’t play until you do your homework or you can’t go outside unless you do your homework,” say, “You need to do your homework before you play or go outside.”
In addition, if you want your child to eat their vegetables, instead of saying, “You have to eat all your vegetables on the plate or you can’t get up from the table,” say, “Try to eat some of your vegetables before you say you are finished eating.”
Similarly, if you want your child to eat more food because they are eating very little for nutrition, instead of saying, “You have to eat everything on your plate or you can’t get up from the table,” say, “You have to eat a little bit more so you can get your nutrition for the day or night (depending on if it is lunch or dinner). Please do not force your child to eat more than he/she needs to; their bodies will let them know when they are full. If they eat more than their stomachs can handle, then they will learn to eat more than a serving size of food and their chances for obesity will increase.
A final example would be if you want your child to clean their rooms, instead of saying, “You have to clean your room before you do anything else,” say, “Your room needs to be cleaned today. Please make sure it is done before we eat dinner tonight.”
Setting boundaries for your children in a positive way will allow them to understand your expectations and will allow them to learn to be more independent and respectful of your rules. You should have consequences to behavior that is not acceptable or does not meet your expectations. In the example above, if they do not clean their room by dinner time, then whatever “fun” or “activities they like or want to do,” would need to be postponed or canceled or not allowed until that expectation is achieved.
Taking the positive approach will create respected and respectful adults. Your children rely on you to help them learn and to grow. Positive approaches are so much better than negative. Be positive, consistent, and loving!
Something to think about ….