The Power of Positive Language

an exclusive feature by Kay Ziplow & Leslie Zinberg, founders

Want to be a better grandparent? We are always working on it – are you? Here’s a little something to think about…

How we express ourselves to our grandchildren, with our words and tone, can often be confusing.  Little ones don’t understand the negative/ directive words we may use such as “don’t” or “stop” because quite simply their attention spans are not keyed to listen to every uttered word. Older kids, however, often tune out when they hear negative directives and assume an argumentative edge with an adult, or take a big defensive position.

One of our many important roles as a grandparent is to definitely empower ourselves to deliver our words in a positive manner and set a tone which reflects the same. Remember that old adage: “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” – well, it really applies here.  Whether you are parenting or grandparenting, it doesn’t matter. Everyone likes to be spoken to in a calm manner. There’s a whole lot of wonderful cooperation, inclusion, and collaboration with children if you change your tone and create a platform turning the negative to the positive.

As an example, we love sharing this simple chart* showing how to change a little negative into a positive spin with your kids.

Positive Language Alternatives

*Source from Susan Stiffelman, family therapist, and licensed psychotherapist. For over 30 years, Susan has worked with families to create greater harmony and deeper connection between parents and children.