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Home » Green parenting

A tiny word with a powerful impact

Submitted by on Saturday, 17 April 2010 Loading Add to favourites  26 Comments

happy toddler

This post is written for inclusion in the Carnival of Gentle Discipline hosted by Paige @ Baby Dust Diaries. All week, April 26-30, we will be featuring essays about non-punitive discipline. See the bottom of this post for more information.


I’m going to let you into a parenting secret.

It’s one that develops a sense of trust and understanding, helps a child to feel heard, validated and loved and improves your relationship.

It’s one that stops tantrums in their tracks, brings you closer together and makes yours and their lives a whole lot nicer.

It’s free, available to anyone and you don’t need any training. You can teach others to do it, in fact you’re already a master at it, but perhaps you’ve forgotten …

It’s fun, uplifting and you’ll feel like the best parent in the world!

Are you ready to remember the most creative and empowering tool in your parenting toolkit?

All it takes is just one word. One tiny word. So small it only has three letters.[amazon-product align="right" small="1"]1892005034[/amazon-product]

Are you ready?

That word is ‘yes’.

Try it!

Next time your child asks to play a game when you’re in the middle of baking, washing up, getting a presentation ready for work, taking a shower, running late for a club, taking a phonecall or driving somewhere in rush hour traffic, start your sentence with ‘yes’.

I guarantee it will turn your mood around in an instant and it will stop any escalating feelings of anger or sadness on your child’s part and irritability or stress on yours.

Here’s the deal. Don’t follow your ‘yes’ with a ‘but’. This isn’t the ‘yes but’ conversation, because that is really another way of saying ‘no’.

You’ve got to follow it with something positive.

“Yes, I’d love to play a game with you. As soon as I’ve washed up we’ll sit down together”.

Doesn’t that feel better than “No I can’t, I’m busy.”?

Your child will hear the yes, will feel heard, will feel you love them and care about and WANT to spend time with them, because you do, it’s just that being a parent without your extended family / all the housework to do / four other kids to take care of / a sick relative to care for / work / gets really challenging at times and you find yourself time poor and irritable.

[amazon-product small="1"]1892005093[/amazon-product]By saying yes, you have both had your needs met. Your child gets to play a game with you and you have the time to focus on whatever it is you need to do right now.

What about you? Do you have a simple tip for positive discipline?


Gentle Parent - art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/Welcome to the Carnival of Gentle Discipline

Please join us all week, April 26-30, as we explore alternatives to punitive discipline. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month in the USA and April 30th is Spank Out Day USA. In honor of this we have collected a wonderful array of articles and essays about the negative effects of punitive discipline methods, like spanking, and a myriad of effective alternatives.

Are you a Gentle Parent? Put the Badge on your blog or website to spread the word that gentle love works!

Links will become available on the specified day of the Carnival.

Day 1 – What Is Gentle Discipline

Day 2 – False Expectations, Positive Intentions, and Choosing Joy (coming Tuesday, April 27)

Day 3 – Choosing Not To Spank (coming Wednesday, April 28)

Day 4 – Creating a “Yes” Environment (coming Thursday, April 29)

Day 5 – Terrific Toddlers; Tantrums and All (coming Friday, April 30)


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