Emotional & Speech Support News
Stating Expectations Postively
Experts agree that directions and behavior expectations should be stated using positive
language. In other words, instruct children to do what you would like them to do; avoid
asking them to “stop” a negative behavior. This recommendation is especially important
for children with auditory processing or other language difficulties. Stating what you
would like in clear, concise phrases or sentences will assist children in comprehension
of the request. Avoid using “no,” “don’t” and “stop” in your directions – these words are
overused and promote negativity. Using these words also increases the complexity of
language and can detract from the desired outcome of your given direction.
Instead of Saying...
- No running!
- Stop tapping your desk!
- No, you can’t have it.
- No yelling!
- Don’t touch that!
- Do not ignore me.
- No hitting!
- You may not call out the answers.
- Do not make a mess.
- Do not leave your toys on the floor.
Use your walking feet.
Calm hands, please.
It’s time for ______ now.
Quiet voice, please.
Hands to yourself.
Listen to me.
Raise your hand.
Please be neat.
- Put toys away when you are finished.