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Laura Van Schaick-Harman, Psy.D., BC-TMH


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What Not To Do

Posted on November 13, 2017 at 2:10 PM

“Don’t put that in your mouth!”

“Stop doing that!”

"No!"

When I was in graduate training, one of the most helpful and useful tools I learned was the dead person rule. No, I am not about to launch into some morbid explanation about behavior.

The dead person rule refers to a parenting behavior management principle. Avoid using language that a dead person could do. Instead, use language that specifically describes what someone should be doing rather than what they should not be doing.

Instead of "Don't touch that," say "Put your hands on the table."

Instead of "Stop pulling your sister's hair," say "Please move your seat over there."

This helps the child to understand what is expected of them and helps to redirect unwanted behavior in a non-punitive way.

Try it and see if it helps to create a calmer and clearer environment for your family

Categories: behavior therapy

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