If you have little kids, you may find yourself saying “no” to them more times a day than you can count. And because toddlers are all over the place, you may be constantly telling them to “get down” as well. But one mom says she doesn’t use these words with her kids and she says her decision not to say them has “massively” helped her family.
Kelly Medina Enos calls herself a “gentle parent.” What does that mean? It’s a parenting style that focuses on willingness and choices, instead of rules and demands. And in Kelly’s case, rather than telling her little ones “no” or to “get down,” she uses more positive phrases like:
- “Okay, on the floor please”
- “How are you going to get down from there?” The mom says this one allows the child to think their plan through.
- And if the kid still won’t come down, Kelly suggests asking, “Either you can put your feet on the floor or Mommy can help you, which one would you like?”
- But what if your child is a “chronic climber,” like many toddlers are? She suggests investing in something made specifically for them to climb safely.
And what does she do when her tots still won’t listen to her gentle parenting suggestions? “Redirection in that case is absolutely key,” Kelly explains, adding that she tells her child what they’re doing isn’t safe while offering the safe alternative for them to use. “That way, you’re not stopping them from doing that thing they clearly love doing, you’re just redirecting them and telling them where they can do it, but in a safe environment.”