Child holding stone that says 'cooperation'

There are so many different phrases you can use to get what you want from your child and encourage positive behaviour. As a parent, rather than bribe or reward your child to do something, try thinking about the words and phrases you could be using with them to encourage them to do what you want/need from them I mentioned in The Parents Toolkit (my first published book), the use of the phrase “when you do” instead of “if you do” and the benefits it can bring. The word ‘when’ assumes that your child is going to do something and there are no conditions attached. “If’” has conditions attached such as, “If you do your homework, then you can do [insert activity]” and so your child may be less inclined to do it. ‘When’ is a great word and its use can lead to a better outcome.

Encourage Positive Behaviour Using Key Words

I came across another phrase that I love too and that is ‘now that’. It can be used by parents when they recognise that their child has done something and want to move onto the next thing or do something nice. For example, ‘Now that you have got yourself ready for the day really quickly, we can go shopping for x’ or ‘Now that you have finished your homework, which you put so much hard work into you can have that slice of cake’.

Recognition is really important to children and using ‘Now that’ shows your child that you have noticed, and the praise will make them feel good.

Just taking a moment to think about the phrases we use with our children can have a big impact on behaviour. Try to be more positive and recognise their achievements and you should find that communication improves.