Do you ever regret nagging your children? Do you feel guilty afterwards? Inside you'll discover the secret to positive parenting and getting your kids to cooperate.

A young mother yelled at her son, Sammy, "Don't tease your sister. It's becoming a bad habit."

"No it isn't," replied, Sammy. "It's becoming a hobby."
The young mother yelled "Don't" and Sammy rebelled by sassing her.

"Don't" is a negative word with a negative picture. Here's an example of what I mean.

A Self Esteem Example:

Years ago I counseled a 17-year-old goal kicker. He was about to be dropped from his football team because he kept kicking the ball to the right of the goal post. I asked him, "Do you say something right before you kick the ball?"

"Yes, I tell myself, 'Don't kick the ball to the right.'" His mind didn't register "don't" but it did register the negative picture.

It was as if he told himself, "Kick the ball to the right." I told him to drop the word, "Don't." He changed his sentence and told himself, "I am kicking the ball through the goal posts." His picture turned positive. He moved toward that picture and remained the star goal kicker.

Self Esteem and the Power of "Don't" to Influence Character:

We move toward our pictures. This is the key to remember. Our minds don't register "don't." Our minds register the picture after the word, "don't." Check out the following sentences and notice the pictures your child sees.

"Don't sass me" becomes "Sass me."
"Don't tease your little sister" becomes "Tease your little sister."
"Don't spoil your dinner" becomes "Spoil your dinner."
"Don't hit your brother" becomes "Hit your brother."
"Don't leave your bike in the rain" becomes "Leave your bike in the rain."
"Don't bang on the piano" becomes "Bang on the piano."
"Don't run through the house" becomes "Run through the house."
"Don't leave your toys in the living room" becomes "Leave your toys in the living room."
"Don't be noisy" becomes "Be noisy."

Can you feel the heaviness of "don't" in those sentences? Can you hear the nagging? Your child may stop the negative behavior for the moment and then start it up again.

How to Be a Positive Parent and Build Self Esteem with Character:
The secret is to give positive directions that give your child a word picture to move toward. Here are some examples that show the opposite wordings to the above directions.

"Speak in a respectful tone."
"Remember to treat your little sister gently."
"Save your appetite for tonight's dinner."
"Show me how nicely you can play with your brother."
"Bring your bike in out of the rain."
"Use a soft touch when playing the piano."
"Please walk through the house."
"Pick up your toys before going out to play."
"Lower your voice."

Conclusion ~ How Positive Directions Build Self Esteem and Character:

When you give a positive direction you give your child a positive picture to move toward. Your child can visualize that picture. He’ll feel more like cooperating than rebelling. You'll not only build self esteem with character, you'll become a positive parent too.

Author's Bio: 

Jean Tracy, MSS publishes a Free Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe at
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