Focus on the positive. Verbalize what you want to see. “We hop on the floor, chairs are for sitting.” I say as calmly as possible as my 20 month old shows her daddy her newly acquired hopping skills! What is shocking is that she actually listens!
I am guilty of slipping into the age old use of no despite my education and experience… family, lack of sleep, it’s easy… so many reasons, but it does not feel right. The next thing I know my daughter is mimicking me and saying “No…no… no…no!”
It wasn’t until a colleague of mine came to visit with her own toddler that I remembered the trick many teachers use. State what you want to see. Children inherently want to learn and by giving them direction, something to focus on, they eagerly follow! “Glasses stay on the table, you can carry your dish to the sink!”