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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.

First, you are threatening a child, which makes them fearful of you.

Second, the threat is usually not something that is feasible to do (we are going home, you are going straight to bed, you don’t get dinner, you are grounded for a week, etc.) What we say in frustration is not only impractical but easily forgettable. You can train yourself to be clear and concise, using choices.

If a child is coloring the grass purple, it is easy to tell them it must be green.

A kid can sit down on a chair facing the back, and we make them turn around.

“If you choose to (continue that behavior), you choose to (receive whatever consequence has already been established as a punishment)”.

You might say, “Erin, if you choose to poke your sister again, you choose to not watch TV for the rest of the day”.

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”.

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.

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.

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