Today I saw this picture on a friend's Facebook page:
It reminded me of when Mr. I and Ms. D first came to our house. The social workers from Advent, our foster agency, taught us to use "In our house..." statements. And I think they were really helpful in our kids' adjustment to our home.
We needed to keep it positive.
So instead of "Don't steal",
We said, "In our house, we ask to use our sister's shirt before we wear it."
Instead of saying, "Don't swear",
We said, "In our house we say it nice."
Or "In our house we say ouch when we fall down."
Instead of saying, "Don't break things",
We said, "In our house, we treat other people's things gently."
Instead of saying, "Don't hit me", or "Don't kick",
We said, "In our house we use our words to say we are angry."
In our house, we love each other. In our house, we forgive. In our house, we hug. In our house, you are safe...
I can see the difference in our kids' behaviors when I use positive words to correct and bring change. Now that the Mr. I and Ms. D are older and have been in our home over nine years, I see that I haven't worded my corrections in a positive manner as much as I should. I've drifted into saying a lot more noes than are necessary or beneficial. This picture of the stairs was a gentle reminder for me.
So in our house...
I will say things kindly, positively, and in love.