Assignment: Negative Sentences Turned Positive:
“Please take the following ten negative sentences and rewrite them to make them much more positive.”
The author stated that these are sentences you should never say to your children. I want the same message or a similar message said in a positive, encouraging way.
Some hints: This assignment looks easy, but it is NOT!
Perhaps you need to say what age group of child you would be addressing.
Are you conveying support for your child? Good! Are you giving veiled (passive aggressive) criticism? Don’t!
Are you making martyr statements (statements about “poor me” and “how hard I work” statements beginning with “I” and having complaints in them)? Many parenting textbooks like “I” sentences, but I find that they usually end up being angry complaints directed at the child. For this assignment, I would not use “I” statements.
Please do not use sarcasm. Sarcasm is always interpreted very negatively by children. The angry message we think we hide in clever or funny sarcasm shouts loud and clear to children and hurts them terribly.
No threats, even hidden threats!
Do not ever compare siblings. That produces resentment by children.
Sometimes a sentence is SO negative you cannot use it at all. Please substitute a positive, motivating sentence for any really bad, negative sentence.
Important: You are welcome to share these and ask for help from spouses, friends, co-workers, parents, anyone! You may collect as much advice from friends as you need to do this assignment. Often, the best sentences come from teenage children of classmates!
The Negative Sentences:
You are to compose and turn in the completely rewritten, positive versions of these. If you think the sentence is just terrible, you should change the content just enough to make it a sentence that is positive and encouraging.
“Look at the dirty footprints you put on my clean kitchen floor. You never consider how hard I work.”
“You are the sloppiest person. Just look at your room!”
“If you don’t start doing your share around here, I’m going to cut your allowance.”
“Take the garbage out this minute and no back talk, young man.”
“Now, do you think that was a nice thing to say about your friend? You should learn to treat your friends the way you want to be treated.”
“Don’t step off the sidewalk. You’ll get hit by a car.”
“Why are you doing this to me, hard as I work?”
“Why can’t you try as hard in school as your sister does?”
“You knew you had to get up early, but you were so smart and stayed up until midnight.”
“If you continue in the same manner, you’ll never amount to anything.”