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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.
Threatening to tell someone else rubs salt in the wound.The former acknowledges that the child already figured out the problem, but is still comforting.When redirecting behavior, it is difficult to know how to phrase things in the best manner.Telling a child that they can’t do something makes them prove that they can, by telling you or showing you that it is in fact possible.Telling a kid to not do something makes them want to argue or rebel.I will also give the Play Therapy based alternative with a short explanation of why it is more effective.
Kids hear the word “no” far too frequently (Read more about that here).
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?
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.
Encouragement, and this phrase is arguably the most commonly spoken praise children hear. Instead of cutting off the conversation, you can say, “I know you want my answer to be different, but it will not change”.