Posted by: coachingparents | November 2, 2009

Don’t Say Don’t

By Danielle Koprowski

Communication is key to any healthy relationship, so it is in our best interest to improve our communication skills and examine how we communicate. One of the best parenting tips I ever received came from a dear friend of mine who was an expert on the unconscious mind and how the brain operates.

She told me, Don’t say don’t. Actually, being the smart woman that she was and using her own advise she said, “Always state your requests in the affirmative.” Now this may seem like a small and meaningless thing to do, but it makes a huge difference to the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind does not recognize or process a negative. When you tell a child, “Don’t slam the door”, all that registers in the unconscious is “Slam the door”.

Why is this important? I could write a whole book on this subject and there are many. In short, the unconscious mind runs the body and is recording all of our life experiences for future use and reference. So when you say, “Don’t slam the door”, it registers in your child’s mind as “Slam the door” and it is much more likely that in the future they will slam the door.

What we want to do is state our requests in the affirmative or tell others what we want them to do. For example, “Close the door gently.”

So as you go about this week. Notice any times you are saying “don’t” or you are telling others about what you don’t want to happen. When you notice, shift your thinking and state what you do want. This makes a huge difference in parenting and in life.

Danielle Koprowski
Free To Be Parenting Support
ACPI Certified Coach for Parents


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