Phrase I (try to) say
I resisted to urge to look up my favourite parenting article bookmarks and quote them, and decided to write this list of phrases that I have found very helpful in my interactions with my nearly 17mo daughter on a day to day basis. I’ll link up some great blog posts from others another day, which will probably help to explain where some of these come from.
- I can see that you are upset/frustrated/tired
- Would you like me to help you?
- You’re having so much fun/concentrating. Soon it will be time for …
- (shortly followed by) I think you would love to play at x for ages. It is now time for x.
- I need to finish what I’m doing, I’ll read/play/listen to you very soon/when x is done (a tangible conclusion – eg these plates are all in the drainer/the socks are put away).
- I can’t let you play with that, it’s hot/sharp/very special.
- Gentle hands please / I like it when you are gentle
- Yesterday/earlier we did that, and it was so much fun. This time we’re going to … instead.
- Rephrasing requests to provide a visual image of the required action such as ‘Walk slowly’ rather than ‘don’t run’ / ‘hands on your knees’ rather than ‘don’t touch x’. My favourite is “look with your eyes” – it helps us deflect inquisitive hands in so many situations, such as when things are precious/hot/poisonous/not ours!
- I love to watch you … (play/run/discover/read.. endless options!)