Reframing Made Ridiculously Simple

As a follow-up to our post a couple of weeks ago, It’s All In How You Look At It… , here’s the down and dirty on turning negative descriptions of our kiddos into positive traits.

How many times do you catch yourself blurting out something like, “She (or he) is SO … fill in the blank … difficult, stubborn, clingy, demanding, … whatever. The labels we give our little guys aren’t always adorable,  and the language we use to describe children’s behavior matters.

Consider the difference: Sara is SO stubborn! She digs in her little heels and that’s it. OR, Sara is so persistent! She keeps trying and trying and never gives up. See? It doesn’t feel the same. One is a negative judgement, while the other emphasizes the positive. Glass half full. How would little Sara feel when hearing one or the other?

Take a look at our list from the Spin Room, then add your own.

Bossy                     Natural leader

Clingy                     Affectionate

Compulsive         Pays attention to detail

Demanding         Communicates needs

Rigid                       Likes order

Manipulative     Knows how to get needs met 

Messy                     Creative, experimental

Nosey                      Curious

Impulsive              Spontaneous

Timid                       Thoughtful, careful

Loud                         Exuberant

Defiant                    Independent, exploring boundaries

Dramatic               Expressive             

Picky                         Discriminating

Quiet                         Reflective

Hyper                       High energy

Silly                           Playful

Dawdles                 Easy going

You get the gist, now add your two cents. Which behaviors could use reframing in your house?



























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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.

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What You Said

  • Arianna Erwin: I highly agree with this I see this happen all the time in school. I’m in the half popular crowd...
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