Using respectful language

By using clear, concise, and respectful language when you lay down boundaries and expectations, you help your child comprehend which behaviours are more acceptable or give the desired result. For example, if your child keeps messing up with pouring water from the pitcher, you can say, “If you’re trying to fill your cup without spilling it, try holding the pitcher like this so the water can’t spill.” Or, “if you want to go to the store before it closes, you need to prepare more quickly.”

This also happens in the Montessori classroom. A teacher might say, “If you want to go outside, everyone needs to line up and be quiet. We’ll then go outside together.” From there, the teacher will tell the kids what has to be done to make this possible and why.

Children tend to react better to clear information. It’s consistent and reliable, and they thrive on that structure.