Use Nouns Instead of Verbs to Help Children Mind

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When asking a child to do something that you want him or her to do, it is better to use a noun, such as "chair" and point to the chair rather than saying "sit" and pointing to the chair. The last one sounds like a command. I am researching the types of communication that helps children the most, including those with special needs.


By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN

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October 26, 20100 found this helpful

I learned in a child development course at a local college that small children only hear a few words in a sentence. So, if you say something like "You have been bad so Mommy has to make you sit in the chair," they might only hear "Mommy bad chair." So it makes more sense to them to say something like "" as it is hard to misinterpret that.

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October 26, 20100 found this helpful

I think this will work best with very young children who are just learning words. When they get to the smart ass stage you will end up teaching them either inappropriate words or facial expressions you don't want them to provoke.


not that you suggested either in your post. I think it's very helpful, this is just what flew into my head when I read it. I don't mean to put your suggestion down. I will surely use it myself, on smallest children.

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October 27, 20100 found this helpful

My Mom would just say "Time Out" and we knew exactly what to do. She'd better not have to say it twice either. She did a lot of child care for our friends after we were grown and had children, and there was one little special needs child that she kept a lot for the mother to work. Evelyn knew "Time Out" as good as we did, and there was a special chair that we had to sit in for Time Out. She would go and sit in the chair and smile all the while. When 5 minutes were up, mother would always come and get us and ask us if we knew what we did wrong or why we had to sit in the Time Out Chair.


She didn't tell you what you did wrong, she let you tell her.

I love the "reward instead of punishment system" best of all, but I must say I think it works better on boys than it does on girls. It's really too bad that kids don't come with instruction books. Parents have to learn it all by themselves and just when they think they know all about it, they'll have a child that doesn't fit the mold, and they have to start all over again.

Good Luck with your research Robyn.


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December 10, 20130 found this helpful

Thanks. A simple change of perspective can go a long way.

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