Say This, Not That!

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

When we trust our children, they learn to trust themselves.




Say This, Not That! to encourage and foster self-awareness, problem solving, critical thinking, risk assessment, independence, and social skills in your child. The goal is to use open ended questions like the ones included below to allow children to learn to think for themselves and give them the necessary communication skills needed to do so.

Do you think...?

Do you feel...?

What‘s your plan?

Instead of;

Be Careful


Say this;


Do you see the ice?

Do you think that’s safe?

Does that look slippery?

Does that feel safe?

Take your time.


Instead of;


No sticks!



Say this;


What are you using the stick for?

Do you think you are using it safely?

Do you think you have enough space?

Do you feel you could use it in a safer way?

How could you use it safely?

What's your plan with that stick?


Instead of;

Watch out! (often this type of reaction will startle your child inadvertently causing injury) or watch where you’re going;


Say this;

Do you see what’s in front of you?

Are you looking ahead?

Eyes upfront.

Instead of;

Slow down!



Say this;

Do you think you’re going too fast?

Does that feel safe?

Do you think you can stop if you need to?


Instead of;

Oh my gosh, are you OK? (you can still ask if they are OK, but try not to let it be your initial response).


Say this;

Ouch, that looks like it hurt.

I know that hurt, didn’t it?


Instead of;

Keep trying!


Say this;

How can I help you?

I see you’re having a hard time, what could you do different?

What do you think the problem is?










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