“Don’t even think about climbing on the shelves.”
Before you could say, “Monkey-bars,” the three-year-old turned into George, the curious one, and made it to the top of the rack.
He’d been doing a terrific job staying close to his mom while in the toy aisle of Target. He was doing so well I was ready to give the child a compliment and his mama a high-five. Just as my encouraging words were forming in my mouth, the mom’s voice broke the quiet with her declaration.
I wished I could have stopped her.
It was too late. But… I have a suggestion that will help you prevent moments like this with your young one. Before I give this all-time great tip, I’m going to ask you to close your eyes and describe what you see in your mind’s eye when you say the words, “Don’t stand on the slide.”
What did you see? If you are like hundreds of other parents, you will see a child standing on the slide. Hmmmm.
Unfortunately, more often than not, we state the opposite of what we desire.
We always know the things we don’t want. In addition to that list, we have the history of our children’s behavior streaming through our brain.
We know each child’s propensity to react or act in a particular way. Here are a few common parental frustrations:
My kid is a yeller. I don’t want him screaming.
My daughter runs off. I don’t want her running away from me.
My son has to touch everything. I don’t want him to break something.
We’d all agree; these are behaviors to be avoided. However…Kids visualize what we say, minus the don’t.