Directions & Praise

In coaching teachers and working with parents, it can be a challenging to give guidance around using positive language to give directions, using “do” language rather than “don’t” language.  This is important because young children need clear guidance regarding what adults expect them to do, as well as reinforcement for engaging in, practicing, and/or trying to to the expected behavior.  Here is a handout titled “Communication is the Key.” It provides a great framework for coaching teachers and parents in avoiding negative language, prompting replacement behaviors with clear expectations, and how to follow up by labeling and praising the child’s efforts.  You can use this list to have teachers and parents practice using positive language (i.e., you state the negative language, and the teacher/parent replaces that with the positive alternative and follow-up language).

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