LHMom's picture

OK or not to tell your 6 year old they are "Bad"?

What do people think? Is this harmful and counterproductive, or is it a way to let them see that they need to "shape up"? This is a current disagreement in my household. Do we keep the approach of "bad behavior is not ok" or take the approach of "you are bad" to "scared straight" them into better behavior?

Garddeningmamma's picture

In my honest opinion, I feel that it's important to let the kids know that the "behavior" is bad, not the kid themeselves. They need to know what is right and what is wrong.

2xstepmom's picture

It is always much better to totally avoid the use of the word "bad" which just makes the child feel "bad" about themself and can lead the child to continue the negative behaviors. The ideal approach is to be consistant and always clearly inform the child of the expected behaviors. Children learn best by positive reinforcement and for a 6 y/o, a rules, expectations and reward chart is a good place to start.

mayamay's picture

It is also best to tell the child what IS expected. "Don't pick your nose" is not as effective as "Here's how to use a tissue for your nose."

"Remember your lunch!" works better than "Don't forget your lunch!"

Explicit teaching when everybody is calm is really useful.

Some people rely too heavily on ignoring bad behavior. That strategy will often work IF good behavior is taught, explained, and modeled.

MichaelJ80's picture

Not OK! There are more productive ways to discipline. Acknowledge "acceptable" behavior and explain when "unacceptable" behavior occurs why it is "unacceptable". Try persuading them into explaining their reason for their behavior. You may find the reasoning was sound, it just wasn't expressed properly. Patience and consistency are key!

Annie28732's picture

Please read "From a Child's Perception" by Anna Fowler and evaluate it for merit. I think you'll find this question will be answered, but not in a traditional way. After you've read it, you will have immeasurable knowledge to base your choice on, along with many more behavioral questions might be answered. This book is unlike any other book I know of and I believe in it!

global mom's picture
global mom

The behavior is bad, not the child.

jillian's picture

They are not bad, the behaivior is. I think saying they are bad will really damage thier confidence in the future.

teachers's picture
When she has done something wrong, she need to know she is "bad". It is ok to use the word. We all are sometimes. when she is good, tell her so. Make sure there is reward and punishment as needed to fit the offense.
junieg's picture
You do not tell a child they are bad, you tell them that what they have done is bad.
mayamay's picture
Children believe their parents--if you tell her she is bad, after a time she will believe that she is bad. It is NOT OK to tell her she is bad.