3 Words You Should Stop Using With Your Children

 In Lifestyle Tips, Unstoppable Family, unstoppable kids

Two years before Hanalei was born, Rhonda & I were given a lil’ piece of advice to take the 3 words, “No, NOT and “Don’t” out of our vocabulary when speaking to our future child / children.

I’m not quite sure if we were listening to audiobooks from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Michael Losier…or possibly our natural birthing coach, but none the less the message has stayed with us until this day.

At first I thought the idea of changing these 3 words was a bit crazy, and impossible.

Think about when you were growing up as a child, how many times did you hear the phrases-

Don’t climb up there

Don’t do that

Don’t Fight

Don’t Talk

Don’t cry

Don’t run by the Pool

Don’t chew with your mouth full

No you can’t, It’s NOT yours and the list can go on for days.

Now let’s think about how many times you heard these phrases before you were 5 years old….100, 1,000’s, possibly a Million????

Next, think about how many times you have said these words to your children today. Believe me….it’s tough to not use these words when speaking to your child….or at least it was for us.

It was difficult as heck to remove these negative words from our vocabulary. 


HanaleiWhy is it difficult to stop using words such as no, not and don’t? I believe it because we’re so programmed and conditioned to think and communicate using negative words on a subconscious level.

We don’t even have to think about what we are saying. It just automatically comes out of our mouths, because that is how we were spoken to as a child growing up.

Now imagine re-framing the statements above to represent what to DO, rather than what NOT to do. You will find that you have to actually think very carefully on how you choose your words. Believe me, it’s tough.

Here’s what we learned:

Don’t climb up there it’s dangerous can be changed to- Be aware of your footing as you climb.

Don’t do this can be changed to- Let’s do this instead 

Don’t fight can be changed toLet’s talk out a good solution

Don’t Talk can be changed to- Let’s work on being quiet for 10 more minutes

Don’t talk to her like that can be changed to- How could we say that differently?

Don’t run by the pool can be changed to- Let’s walk near the pool because its slippery

It’s about giving your children choices in Life.

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Always keep the end goal in mind with teaching your child. When you switch around the way you phrase things, you are allowing them to make their own decisions. We want to raise a generation that are thinkers and decision makers.

For every action there is a reaction or consequence of some form. From my experience, after a child falls 1 or 2 times, they stop repeating the action that caused them to get there. The powerful side of this is that they start making choices when you’re not around.

You won’t be there to help them make the right choice forever, that is why it is so important to teach them while the consequence are relatively mild. Wouldn’t you rather they learn this process when they are still under your protection, than to wait until they are old enough to get into a lot more trouble?

*****Just to be Clear….if your Child is about to Drink Poison or run out in Front of a Car…this is not the time to have a Conversation with them and give them an option, say STOP or NO because those words will mean something to them the next time you do.*****

>> Feel free to add negative phrases you remember from your childhood in the comments<<

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  • Brandi Henderson

    Great post. Definitely something for me to think about as I am constantly telling my toddler… No, don’t, stop, quit…

  • Danielle Rogers

    I love, love, LOVE this!!! I’m such an advocate for using positive words with children, yet NEVER thought how damaging those three words can be. I’m an early childhood educator and blessed with a 4 year old grandDiva, so from this day forward I promise to be aware of how I’m assisting each child under my care make the best choice for their lives, by phrasing my words more positively! Thank you SO much for this golden nugget!

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