Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

To say “No” or not to say “No”

How many times a day do you find yourself saying, “No” or “Don’t” or “Stop it”?

Using positive language is a goal that we strive for daily.  This means that rather than “No” and “Don’t” and “Stop it” we try to make our wording positive.  Positive language not only limits the number of “Nos” and “Don’ts” so that they are more powerful when you truly need them, but gives important teaching information about what is acceptable behavior.

Rather than “stop running” we say, “Please walk in the classroom” or “When we get outside you may run.”

Instead of “Don’t grab” we say, “Ask if you may have a turn when she is finished.”

Rather than “Don’t sit on the table” we say, “You may sit in a chair.”

Instead of “No yelling” we say, “Please speak more quietly, like my voice.”

So when you need to firmly say, “No hitting.  We do not hurt others,” it has more impact and does not get lost amidst all of the “nos” and “don’ts” and “stops.”

It takes a lot of thinking when you first begin, but giving positive teaching information about what behavior is acceptable will help guide your child on her way to understanding everything that she can do, rather than what she can’t.

For those interested in finding out more, there is a lot of information out there if you google Positive Language, but here is a link to a beginning guide for parents: How To Use Positive Language to Improve Your Child’s Behavior

As always, we all continue to work on this, and sometimes we make a mistake.  Fortunately, mistakes are opportunities for learning, and hopefully we will remember the next time!

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