Pediatric speech pathologist affirms parent’s TikTok tip: ‘Provide a positive environment by changing your words’

·3 min read

This pediatric speech pathologist confirmed a TikTok parent’s tip for getting kids and toddlers to listen!

Madonna Lazo-Smith (@makinglearningspecial) is a mom and a licensed pediatric speech pathologist who wants to help parents “build strong minds.” Madonna recently shared a reaction video confirming another mom’s clever piece of parenting advice.

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The advice? When trying to get your kids to listen to you, don’t say “don’t.”

In the video, Madonna reacts as the mom explains how to effectively get kids to listen, and how to prevent them from doing things they shouldn’t do. As the mom talks, Madonna adds captions that add additional context. 

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The video begins with the mom explaining, “So if your toddler’s about to do something that you do not want them to do, instead of saying, ‘Don’t blank, don’t do whatever it is you’re about to do,’ you’re going to want to change that and do one of two things.”

The first method you should try, the mom explains, is to tell your child what you want them to do, rather than what you don’t want them to do. For example, if your child is climbing on the table, instead of saying, “Don’t climb on the table,” the clever mom suggests saying, “Feet on the floor, please.” 

“Tell them what you want instead of what you don’t want,” the mom explains.

The second method is to distract your child. “Direct their attention elsewhere,” the mom suggests. “So like, ‘Hey do you see that book, can you bring mama that book? Let’s read it together.’”

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As the mom talks, Madonna smiles along, occasionally adding captions to agree with the mom’s points or elaborate upon them. “I’ve spoken about this in previous posts, and this mama states it beautifully,” she writes. “Provide a positive environment instead by changing your words.”

While this method is a great way to get kids to listen, Madonna points out that there are times when saying “don’t” or “no” might be essential. “Try to say ‘no’ for situations that really need automatic attention or dangerous situations,” she writes. 

Many parents and viewers were thankful for the clever parenting tip.

“I’m going to start using this with all 3 of my kids even though they are older,” one parent wrote. 

“As an early childhood educator, this is so important,” another viewer commented. 

However, some viewers were skeptical. 

“This does not work for my toddler,” wrote one parent. 

“Definitely does not work on my almost 4-year-old. It’s great, and it does work on some kids, but this isn’t a magical answer,” another parent pointed out.

All kids are different, so it’s important to find the parenting style that works for you. But if you’re looking for a way to get your kids to listen, try removing the word “don’t” from your vocabulary!

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