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Monkey See, Monkey Do

Monkey See, Monkey Do

No, no, no. I said no, and I mean no.

Is it any wonder your kid’s favorite word is “no?”

Children copy the people they’re around—moms and dads, teachers, daycare providers and so on. If your child says “no” more than you’d like, it might be time to assess your own language. Incidentally, the same goes for adults—so think about how many times you use words like no, don't or can't in the office, with your partner or around friends.

When you frequently use words like no, stop or don’t, you’re bringing negativity into any environment. We're not suggesting that kids run wild—or that you shouldn't call out a co-worker when you need to—but try reframing limits positively. Tell the other person what you want them to do, as opposed to what they should stop doing. For example, instead of “Don’t touch that!” you could say, “Please put that down.” Or an alternative to “Stop shouting!” might be "Please lower your voice.” Try it the next time you feel a “no” coming on. Even making a negative request a positive one once a day is a great start toward changing your speech patterns.

Posted: 7/7/08
7/8/08 Next Tip»