GREAT Communication Technique for Children

I remember my good friend and brilliant child development and parenting education expert, Diane Weiss, co-founder of 40 Carrots Parenting Center saying that when you are training children, it is important to tell them what you want them TO DO, as opposed to what you want them NOT to do.  Look at these examples:

“Don’t stand on the chair” vs. “Feet on the floor, please”

“Don’t leave your toys on the floor” vs. “Toys go back to the box when you’re done”

“Don’t run around the pool” vs. “Walking only on the pool deck”

I can hear you now.  “And exactly how many times do I have say this before I end up saying, “how many times do I have to say this??????”  (Cute little pattern there…)

The answer is: Maybe a lot.  Maybe a WHOLE lot.  They are kids.  This is called training.  And I believe that the parent who masters the art of being (you got it) Pleasantly Persistent, increases the odds that they will end up with some well-adjusted, fairly happy children.

From your motivational speaker mommy, Linda Larsen, wishing she could do some things over again – and frequently happy she can’t…


Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Linda, you are such a prolific blogger I always feel like I’m saying, “Yes, I do this too!, Love it!” rather than having written the blog. Thank you for all you share, and your patience with me chiming in after the fact spouting how much I’m in alignment with your words.  I was the mother who always said, “Please walk” versus “Don’t run.” We’d go to a store and I would say, “Use your eyes” versus “Don’t touch.” So important to help people see what you want them to do, rather than what you don’t. I refer to it as contaminated versus clear language. Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Okay, okay. My toes are bruised because you are stepping all over them! I am one thousand percent guilty of this! Yikes! But not after today! This motivational speaker is changing her language. Instead of what not to do – I will focus on what to do! Thanks Linda! And my child thanks you too!

  3. In the cold light of day when life is good I think I’m pretty good at interacting with my kids this way. I also find that when I’m stressed, tired, scared, overwhelmed this is so easy to forget/loose sight of. Thanks for the reminder Linda… from me and my three well-adjusted, fairly happy children!

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