Some days I feel like all I do is redirect my toddler over and over again. Instead of saying no repeatedly, try using these positive parenting phrases with your toddlers.
Toddlers love to test limits and push your buttons. You may find yourself saying “no” 100’s of times per day.
Unfortunately, after hearing “no” repeatedly, your toddler might become immune to the word and listen even less.
Instead of saying no, try to use these positive parenting phrases when speaking to your toddlers.
What Is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting solutions are a style of parenting that encourages mutual respect and strong relationships between children and parents.
According to the American SPCC, positive parenting involves:
- effective parenting (words and actions influence the way your child behaves)
- consistent parenting (stick to the same actions and set of rules)
- active parenting (involved in your children’s lives)
- attentive parenting (monitor and pay attention to your children)
Five important aspects of positive parenting include responding to your child in an appropriate manner (using these positive phrases), preventing risky behavior or problems before they occur, monitoring your child’s contact with others, mentoring your child, and modeling positive behavior (ASPCC).
Once all of these are in place, you will raise healthy children who know they are loved, but also independent.
Positive parenting is certainly not the easy way to parent, but it is so worth it in the long run.
Positive Parenting Phrases To Use With Toddlers
“I Understand That You’re Sad” (Angry, Upset, Insert Emotion)
One of the most important things we can do as parents is to validate our toddler’s emotions.
They might have a difficult time expressing how they feel which is what often leads to acting out or misbehaving.
Stop this cycle by acknowledging their emotions and telling your toddler that you understand how they’re feeling.
Can We Do ____ Together?
How many times do you ask your toddler to do something for you and they say they can’t do it or refuse to do it.
End this power struggle by offering to do it together.
A lot of times, my toddler’s gut reaction is to say “mommy do”.
Instead, I rephrase this and say can we clean up the blocks together?
This way we’re spending time together and helping each other.
Thank You For Helping Me
This is another great phrase to applaud your toddler’s success and show them that they’re a big helper.
The more you acknowledge and applaud their help, the more they’ll want to help.
Thank You For Listening To Me
If you want to raise good listeners, it’s important to encourage them to listen.
This phrase shows your toddlers that you appreciate them listening and that you notice when they do listen.
You Are a Very Good Helper
Toddlers want to be part of the family and actually love to help.
Show them you noticed what they did to help and that you appreciate it. I encourage you to give your toddler their own list of chores to allow them to help out every day.
Read more about toddler-friendly chores here.
Change No’s to Yes’s
Try to work on changing the way you speak to your toddler.
Instead of “no we can’t go to the playground”, try to say “we can go to the playground Saturday or Sunday”.
You can rephrase their request into a positive response that works for everyone.
Ditch the “Don’t” Phrases
How many times do you find yourself saying “don’t throw that”, “don’t hit”, “don’t climb”?
Your toddler may be missing part of the message and is constantly hearing the negative “don’t”.
Try to turn these “don’t” phrases into a positive phrase that you do want them to do.
For example. instead of “don’t hit”, say touch gently.
Again, by simply changing a negative into a positive, you’ll be encouraging positive behavior for your toddler.
Keep in mind, even with the best language, it’s natural for toddlers to continue to test limits and act out from time to time.
As parents, all we can do is try to encourage toddlers to listen and provide support.
If a tantrum does strike, make sure to prepare with these tips to handle a tantrum.
Otherwise, be consistent and let your toddler know that you’re there for them and love them unconditionally. This phase shall pass eventually.