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Either way, the child is allowed to express their thoughts or concerns and feel validated without an argument. First, it creates anxiety and fear in the child, especially of the person who you are going to tell about whatever happened.Second, it ignores your responsibility to deal with the issue at hand and passes it to someone else.You can always rephrase the sentence from a negative to a positive, which will correct the behavior without sounding critical.Train yourself to say what you want them to do instead of what you don’t. Notice the common element is starting with the word “you” and then acknowledging what they worked at, rather than what you think about it.Train yourself to explain the reason behind your statement.“That is not safe” or “Your skin is not for coloring on” is specific and helps them learn why things are off limits, rather than just that they are.It is wasted words to try to express a rule when a child is upset, as they focus on one thing at a time.Instead, train yourself to say, “You realized that you jumped off the chair and got hurt when you landed on the ground”, rather than, “See, that is what happens when you jump off the chair”.
If a child gets hurt because they were doing something dangerous or inappropriate, they already learned their lesson.Choose whether the other person really needs to know about the issue, and if yes, let the child decide who will tell them.“Do you choose to tell (Mom) what happened, or choose for me to tell her with you there to make sure that I explain it correctly?This clearly communicates the expectation and the consequence, without a threat.Parents tend to want control all of the time, and it takes work to allow kids to have freedom to do what they choose.