Experiential Activity
In Positive Discipline, we ask parents to do experiential activities to spend time getting into the world and experience of our children, which is very different than the grown-up world.
  • Children live in the moment, and in a feeling and being place.
  • Grownups live with a past present future continuum, and generally in a thinking and doing place.
For this Experiential Activity, I invite you to come into the present moment and simply notice how you feel. We’ll do 2 sets of commands, and simply notice how you feel and what you’re thinking.
As well-meaning parents we can spend a lot of time telling children from the toddler to the teen years what NOT to do.
Working with Don’t Statements:
1) This week, be a Gentle Observer and notice when you are most likely to say, “Don’t____” to your children.
2) Work on translating your “Don’t” to a “Do” statement.
Some examples include:
* “Don’t talk to me like that.” becomes “Please be respectful.”
Or “say, could I have some space, please.”
* “Don’t run.” becomes “Walking feet.”
* “Don’t throw that.” becomes “Throw the ball instead.”
With tweens and teens:
* It’s important to model and embody the tone of voice and emotions that you want your children to demonstrate.
With younger children:
* It’s important that we model the behavior or use action words because young children think in “mental pictures,” rather than words.

In the comments below, share:

  1. When are you most likely to say, “Don’t _____” to your children?
  2.  What would the “Do” statement translation be?
Parenting Practice:
  • Practice 1 Do Statement consistently this week with your children.
Please Note:
  • Usually after watching this video, parents notice how often they are saying “Don’t ___” to their children. Compassion is key, and this is a natural part of the process.
  • Also, we all revert to “Don’t __” when we’re stressed or there is a safety issue.