Substitute helpful comments for criticism and put-downs
Children who hear “put downs” can come to feel hopeless, and may stop trying to cooperate. When your child misbehaves, she needs “help-outs” instead of “put-downs.” “Help-outs” make her feel you love her and you know she can learn to do better. “Putdowns” do just the opposite.
Here are some “help-outs”:
Here’s a sponge. I’ll help you clean it up.
That’s hard to do. Let me do it with you.
I’m proud of you for trying that. Hold it with both hands next time and it may not fall.
That is a dangerous thing to do. You could fall. Let me hold your hand.
Avoid “put-downs” like:
I knew that would happen if I let you do it alone.
Can’t you do anything right?
You’re being a brat.
Why do you always drop things?
You never pick up your clothes.
Won’t you ever learn?
Can’t you see that’s dangerous?
Listen to yourself. Try to use “help-outs”—not “put-downs.”