What are the things that you say over and over again to your children?
I also often say phrases like… No no! to my kids, obviously. Because if our job isn’t this, what is it? :-) Also.... calm down… I love you… just hang on… be patient…be polite....be honest....time to clean up! I try to be gentle (as much as I can) in how I tell them no, or stop. No one likes a screaming Mommy, who constantly yells "no" or "stop." I hear them imitating my gentle (or angry! ;) tone of voice, and it makes me want to be a better Mom.
But what do you say THE MOST?! Here are my top five:
1. Be careful/Careful!
I am saying this constantly. Four (almost five) kids, 7 and under: while they’re jumping, wrestling, rolling, splashing… be careful!
2. Be nice/ Do Nice!
I say this so much it hurts. It means...no pulling hair, no whining, no complaining, no putting other people/siblings down. In other words, kindness wins the day. Again and again. Use good manners! Also- Do nice! This goes beyond “be nice,” to telling your kids and teaching your kids to act upon the kindness they have been working to learn. “Do nice,” means don't just act nice or pretend to be nice- let your actions be your kindness!;) Because they’re either learning kindness from us, or they’re not.
3. Good listening!
If I have to be harsh, in giving correction, I usually follow up with "Good listening!" because it takes the edge off the correction, and it gives them a confidence boost to know that they were listening and obeyed. Listening is so important, such as when we're out for a walk and the kids are bounding away from me or teetering near the edge of the street. Reinforcing good behavior with "Good listening!" really seems to help these times.
4. No touch!
Or “don't touch,” for toddlers. Again… with Anders I’m repeating this constantly, pretty much. :-) Don’t touch the dead bug, don’t touch the nasty floor of McDonald’s, don’t touch bird poop, don’t touch your own poop. No touch! ;)
5. You're Right!
This word abounds with my 3-year-old preschooler Madeleine. She loves to learn. When she's bored, I try to follow Montessori's method of giving her something to work on. When she folds a towel the right way, I encourage her. You're right! When she freaks out or at least goes into freak-out mode about spills, accidents, bugs, putting on her seatbelt, and sibling squabbles, sometimes, she screams as loudly as she can about something that seems small to me. I'm often puzzled at her reaction, but try not to take it personally or too seriously -- because she IS 3 after all! So I have to remind her that a lot of the time she's right. "You're right, that's how you say it/buckle it/wipe it/fold it/clean it up!"
What are some of the other things that you say over and over to your children?
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Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan.
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linking up with Jenna @CallHerHappy