Positive Redirection


Don’t!  Stop it!  Cut it out!  Knock it off!  Enough!  These are the phrases of negative redirection, and they aren’t very helpful to kids.  Negative redirection is unclear communication.  It is confusing – a child knows what NOT to do, but may still be quite unsure what he is supposed TO do.  It could have a harmful effect on the adult and child relationship.  It creates a negative environment.  It decreases language skills in children.  And, possibly the worst thing, it could leave the child feeling very negative about himself, others, and the authority figures in his life.

Positive redirection is telling a child what you DO want them to do, instead of telling him what NOT to do.  For example, “Here. Take this and sit down please.”  Some other examples:

“Crayons are only for paper.”

“Chairs are for sitting.”

“Please talk quietly.”

“Put this in the box.”

“We only climb on the playground outside.”

If you can use positive redirection in your interactions with children, it will strengthen your relationship with them, improve communication, teach appropriate language skills, and clear up the expectation, leading to less confusion.

parenting resources

helpful websites

  • Love and Logic
    Bestselling author Jim Fay, founder of the "Love and Logic" process.
  • Focus on The Family
    Provides parenting advice and other family issues from a Christian perspective. Founded by Dr. James Dobson.
  • TroubledWith: Parenting Children
    Resources dealing with various common childhood issues and what a parent can do.