Power of Words – Don’t

Date:  Jan 3, 2013

Another thing I learned from Mr. Amin during yesterday parent’s seminar at Pei Tong Primary School is to understand the power of words.

Remember at home, when we are with our kids, most of us probably says…

Don’t do this!”

Don’t do that!”

Don’t watch TV.”

Don’t play iPad games.”

… etc.

Don’t is a very power words, and it is also a very NEGATIVE word.

If possible don’t use it so often.  Use it whenever there is no other way to express your wishes or feelings.



When you say Don’t, your kid will probably do otherwise.  A simple experiment.  For example, everyone please close your eyes.  Now, imagine that you are in a very busy cross junctions.  You are trying to cross the road, and there is this zebra crossing on the ground.  And you don’t see a pink elephant wearing a bikini crossing the zebra crossing.  

Now, cross check what is on your mind.  You will notice that, a minute ago, your mind is flooded with pictures and photos of a pink elephant at least, and some try to put the bikini on the pink elephant.  Didn’t I told you not to see or think about the pink elephant?  But why your mind is stuck with pink elephant when you are asked not to see or think about it???  That’s magic, and that is probably what your kid going to do precisely.  

When you say, don’t play the iPad, but then, their fingers simply just could stop it, and keep holding on to the iPad.


Also, when you are angry, and you need to scold your kids, don’t scold them, instead scold the behaviour.  So that your kid will not think that it is a “personal attack” as they may choose to switch off on you.

I never thought of that concept of scolding the behaviour, but I think it makes a lot of sense, and I will try to adapt this tactic when dealing with my son in future.  

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