Don’t Think of A Pink Elephant

But you did! Even with this photo of a cute aspiring puzzler you immediately pictured a pink elephant. Our mind can’t hear negative statements. When I found Boogie above I said “don’t do that.” All she heard was  “do that.” I gotta change my language and give her affirmative commands that she can hear. Now my crossword is more interesting. (My fault, I know. more on that later.)

While it is difficult at first, we have had great success with this at our house. Someday I will link to the research on this. For right now go with your own intuition that this is how your brain, and your child’s brain works. Get on the affirmative command bus today. Here are a few examples you can use:

“Don’t drop your plate!”   —-   “Keep your plate on the table.”

“Don’t hit your brother.” —-    “Keep your hands off your brother. ” “Stop.”

“Don’t jump on the couch” —- “Stay on the floor.” “Play over there instead.”

“Don’t go into the street.” —- “Stay in our yard!”

The last one is very important for keeping everyone safe.

What other examples of rephrasing to affirmative commands can you think of?

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