The Most Powerful Words: "YES, AND..."


How can you make a small change in your language that will start you on the path to a calmer reading/math/homework time with your child (and away from of the frustrated outbursts)?

"YES, AND..."

Kids that struggle with reading are hearing a lot of "no," "that's not right" and verbal/non-verbal prompts of negative feedback. They might even start to get sensitive, get frustrated or act out when they are corrected. ...All of these negative responses chip away at their confidence at something that is already a source of frustration for them.

Try to turn the negative into a positive. Respond with "YES, AND." For example, I was talking with a friend the other day and giving her a few examples to use when her daughter skips over or incorrectly sounds out a word:
---->"YES, that does start with a p sound - AND what comes after it?"
---->"YES, there is a long word there AND let's do that one together" 
---->"YES, you found a tricky word AND any idea what it might be if you try to sound it out?" 
---->"YES, I heard you say the 'oo' sound in that word, AND do you see any other sounds you know?"

It might feel a little funny at first as you are responding to an error with a YES and having to shift your language. You may even need to get creative on what you can praise them for. This tiny shift to "YES AND" is confidence building, relationship building, pressure reducing and will feel much better to your child.