Drop the “Okay?!”

“Okay,” let’s talk for a minute about the power of language and tone with young children.  Parents of toddlers know that a well-placed, excited “ooh” or “ahh” can redirect their child’s attention away from the cleaning of a hurt boo boo (although, first you should reflect and acknowledge your child’s emotions and pain).  Those words and the right intonation can also get them excited about an object other than the coveted race car that every other toddler in the room also wants.  But what about the word “okay?”  Adding in that extra “okay” at the end of a sentence, gives your child room to say “no,” or some other favorite mantra.  It literally turns a statement into a question!  “We’re gonna leave the park soon, okay?”  “Two more minutes to play, okay?”  “It’s almost bathtime, okay?”

Transitions are hard enough for toddlers and young children, don’t make it more confusing.  Think about how often you naturally add that word to the end of a sentence.  If the fact is that it’s dinner time…just say “it’s dinner time.”  Drop the “okay!”