2 Great Parenting Tips To Improve Your Influence:

spoilt-for-choiceWe’ve all been there and we’ve all done it:

Don’t eat too many sweets, they’re bad for your teeth

Don’t step in the road, you could get hurt.

Don’t play on the fence, it might break.”

Effective parenting is about delivering positive influence. Whether it’s eating too much sugar, walking in the road or playing on a flimsy fence,we want our children to obey our commands. But more often than not, the more we repeat the same old negative statements, the less effective we become and our children start to see us as an old nag.

If you want your children to respect your authority, I suggest you ditch the word “don’t” from your vocabulary. It doesn’t matter how many times you issue a command, if it begins with the word “don’t“, your children will fixate on what follows “don’t“, rather than on not doing the thing you want them to avoid.


Imagine it’s a hot day and you’ve had nothing to drink for a few hours. The sweat’s pouring down your brow and I say, “don’t think about a cold, lemonade ice lolly, the sharp, sweetness of the lemons, the ice cold lolly in your mouth, just don’t think about it“. Of course, your brain will think about the lolly and will conveniently bypass the word “don’t“. It’s the same for adults and for children and happens regardless of the situation.

Tip 1) Issue positive commands and be specific about what you want to happen. Practise your new style of command so it becomes a habit. I can personally vouch for the fact that getting rid of “don’t” takes some getting used to:

“Don’t eat too many sweets, they’re bad for your teeth.”

“You need to eat less sweets so you take good care of your teeth”

Don’t step in the road, you could get hurt”

“Walk on the pavement because it’s safer.”

Don’t play on the fence, it might break”

“Get off the fence and leave it alone, it’s flimsy and might break.”

Tip 2) Coach rather than command, particularly in situations where there’s no immediate danger. Ask questions which encourage your children to think about the situation so that they engage and create their own answers.

Whilst it may feel easier to issue commands, easy is not necessarily effective and children on the end of constant commands become passive spectators and eventually immune to your authority. They may appear to be listening to you but their minds will usually be elsewhere and they’ll forget what you said … that’s if they ever heard you in the first place!

“How is eating too many sweets a problem for you?”

Why is the pavement a better place to walk than the road?”

What could happen if you keep playing on the fence?”

Andrew Pain helps people to achieve more and improve their effectiveness as parents by developing their influence, resilience, and productivity. You can find out more about his philosophies and his family at Life and Business Coaching-Impact Life.———————————————————————————————————————————————————————
Do you want to contribute to Mommy Hot Spot? Share your tips, tricks, recipes and advice with our community of 100,000+ Moms today. Please review our submission guidelines and contribute a blog now.


  1. kyra1981 says:

    what a better way! thank you!

  2. Desirae says:

    Love that pic! That would be my daughter

  3. Thanks for the positive feedback – it’s always appreciated!

Speak Your Mind


Partner Links

Switch to our mobile site