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Teach Model and Practice MUTE

Kids say the Darndest things.  
They ask adults their age,
They ask teachers if they are pregnant (when they are not… YIKES!!),
They tell their grandparents their breath stinks
and they say things like, “I don’t like you”
or “Yuck, your green beans taste like throw up”How do we teach our kids to filter what they think from what they say?

Here is a Child in Bloom approach to help…

We have to identify the behaviors that are not okay.
No Hurting  No Fussing No Disrespect
This means: no hurtful words, no fussing words, or no disrespectful words.

We have to give them new replacement behaviors or new things to say or do.
We have to set expectations and consequences for behaviors.
We have to teach model and practice these things… VISUALLY
We have to follow through on these expectations and consequences
We have to notice the positives… when they do it correctly
When you TEACH MODEL AND PRACTICE show your child
the difference between
Thinking and Saying

Use thinking bubbles and talking bubbles
in your visual storylines to show the difference.

As our child’s first  and most important teacher, it is your job to help them gain the filter and become aware of what needs to be MUTED and what is okay to express.
Give your child lots of scenarios to practice and role play.
Giving them opportunities to brainstorm new ways to handle sticky situations.

Here are some scenarios to start with…


“The Bus driver is in a bad mood today.” I can think this (thinking bubble),
but I better not go up to the bus driver and say,
“Why are you being so  mean today?” That might make the bus driver crazy mad.”I don’t like the spicy chicken my mom made for dinner.” I can think this (thinking bubble)
but I cannot say “This chicken is horrible.”   Of course that might hurt my mom’s feelings.

“I already have the gift that grandma gave me”, I can think this (thinking bubble), but I cannot say, “Uggh I already have this game!” That will make your grandmother feel badly.

Giving kids new phrasing to replace the old phrasing might help:
What about saying to the bus driver something nice…
“Have a good day.”
What about saying to mom something nice about something else on your plate,
“I really love the sweet potatoes you made.”
What about saying to your grandmother,
“Thank you for the gift”

It is okay to teach children to MUTE or CHANGE the negative talk that happens in their brain before it comes out of their mouth…

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