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There are so many ways to show kids that you love them, and consistently using positive phrases helps encourage them.
One of my kiddos does Tae Kwon Do, and I admire the instructors because of their seemingly natural ability to make everything so positive.
Changing behavior through positive phrasing
Because voice control is something she struggles with, at times she’s louder than intended (nearly yelling), to which the instructor says (in the most positive, non judgmental way), “Listen to that energy!” As a result, the positive words stop the extreme loudness without embarrassing her or making her feel bad. It’s a magical skill that works wonders!
I became an active observer, carefully watching how the instructors spoke to kids. Especially observing interactions with the kids who have some challenging behaviors. Each time I watched, the positive words flowed, and the child would eat it up like candy, doing exactly as they were asked.
Universally, I believe kids respond to positive reinforcement and words of encouragement. Positive reinforcement can be a very effective way to impact and change behavior, and consequently increase the likelihood that the positive behavior will be repeated in the future.
It’s sometimes easy to see the negative
In an oh-so-busy world where the do to list is never ending, I can easily fall into negativity mode. For me, that looks more like barking orders:
“Hang your coat up!”
“Your room is such a mess!”
“Stop teasing your sister!”
There is a better way to encourage kids to do the right thing, and let’s face it, you get more bees with honey.
Admittedly, my brain makes me incredibly detail oriented. In fact, I spend my corporate days fining defects in the system and making improvements. Fixing and smoothing out the process. For me, my eye naturally finds what is wrong, rather than what’s right.
So, after a long, stressful day at work, I have to remind myself to focus on what’s going well. My kids are not the system. They are two people in this world I love the most, and deserve to know that through my words and actions. It’s important to remember that in the whole sea of behavior, there is more good happening than bad. Having a list of go-to phrases helps me to focus on the positive and recognize it!
Here’s a list of 50 positive, encouraging phrases:
- You’re doing a good job!
- Keep up the good work!
- Good for you!
- Good thinking!
- That’s the way to do it!
- Now you have it!
- Great job!
- Keep it up!
- I knew you could do it!
- Nice going!
- That’s the best you’ve ever done!
- You’re very good at that!
- Keep up the good work, you’re getting better!
- You’re doing much better today!
- I’ve never seen anyone do it better!
- That’s the way!
- That’s it!
- You’ve figured it out!
- I like that!
- Look at you go!
- I think you’ve got it now!
- You’re really improving!
- One more time and you’ll have it!
- Keep on trying!
- I love your enthusiasm!
- I’m so proud of how you’re working today!
- That’s better than ever!
- Nothing can stop you now!
- That’s first class work!
- I couldn’t have done it better myself!
- I love your energy!
- You must have been practicing!
- I like that!
- Look how fast you’re learning!
Need a printable PDF of this list? Get it HERE!
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