Heart of Dakota Blog

Tell your children what you want them to do.

Blue and white porcelain bowl with white and blue painted eggs. Text to the right reads "Tell your children what you want them to do."
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Teaching Tip:

What should you do when your children need correction?

Today I’ll share a simple tip for correcting children that I picked up during my public school teaching days. It is a tip that remains incredibly helpful to me every day of homeschooling! This tip is so simple that it almost seems like it couldn’t be a real tip. Yet, it will yield big results if you use it (and you can start today)! So, here it is… Tell your children what you want them to do, not what you don’t want them to do.

Tell your children what you want them to do.

If a behavior that you do not want to see crops up, direct your children toward the behavior you do want to see. Instead of saying, “Don’t do that!” say, “Please do this.” For example, if your children continually rush about the house loudly, instead of saying, “Don’t run!” instead say, “Walk.” Or, if your children write very messy, instead of saying “Don’t write so sloppy,” instead say, “Please write neatly.” Or, if your children speak to you inappropriately, instead of saying, “Don’t talk back to me!” instead say, “Please use respect when talking to me.”

The mind is a powerful visualization tool.

The reason this is such an important tip is because the mind is a very powerful visualization tool. It automatically pictures what is said. To show you what I mean, ponder this scenario. If I say to you, “Don’t run,” what is your mind picturing? It is probably picturing you running, isn’t it! However, if I say to you, “Please walk,” now what are you picturing? You’re picturing yourself walking, aren’t you! The words you use when you give directions to your children are powerful. Your directions should help your kiddos picture themselves behaving the way you desire, so they can act on that desire.

Paint a positive picture in your children’s minds.

Watch yourself today as you direct your children. See how many times you catch yourself painting a negative picture of their behavior rather than a positive picture in their minds. Then, change the way you give directions. You will find this tip will change your homeschool attitude and your kiddos’ attitudes too! Try it today, and see what you think!


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