There’s a Better Way to Say It!

I created this document to help me re-structure the way I spoke to my children.  I believe there is great power in the words we use and the way we speak, so I wanted to get it right.  I literally printed this sheet out and practiced the sentences!  And I would encourage you to do the same. The point of speaking like this is to empathize with your child (no matter how she is acting) and to help her identify and deal with her emotions.  We are teaching the language of emotion and of problem solving.

“I’m sorry I can’t help you more.  I’m still here and I love you.”

“Tell mommy what you want.”

“You feel angry that mommy won’t let you have ____________.”

“You feel angry because you didn’t get to _________ first.”

“I know you’re upset but it’s time to calm down.”

“Mommy’s here.  I know you’re upset.  Mommy’s here.  It’s okay.”

“I know you’re (tired, hungry, frustrated), and I’m going to be here for you.  It’s okay; you’re going to be all right.”

“It’s hard to wait. You wish we could do it (or get it, or go) right now.”

“It’s wrong to hit anyone, even when you’re angry.”

“You felt angry with _______ for _____.  You can tell her with words, not hitting.”

“You look like you’re mad about not being able to fit that piece in the puzzle.  Are you?”

“It’s okay to be angry.  Sometimes I get angry, too.  But it helps if I talk about it.”

“I see you are impatient because the food isn’t done.”

“I see you are frustrated that mom’s not coming upstairs.”

“You got really mad when mom told you to put that away.  It’s okay to be mad.  Next time you can tell me this.  You can say, ‘mommy, I’m mad.’  Mommy will listen to you.  I love you even when you are mad.”

“You’re having so much fun playing.”

“You’re so happy.”

“I can tell you are enjoying yourself because you have such a big smile on your face.”

“I see two girls and one toy and I know you two can work things out together so both of you are happy.”

“What do you think you can do so that doesn’t happen again?”

“People feel good when you use good manners.”

“Aren’t we blessed to have ______?”

“Let’s talk about it.”

“Please make a decision.”

“I love you, but I don’t like that behavior.”

“I want you to help me solve my problem. . . .”

“The correct behavior is ____________.”

“You can choose to be happy.”

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