Understanding the power of language and how we use it.

Learning goals

  • Understand the power of our language on children.
  • Build the confidence and ability to parent positively.

Discuss positive and negative communication styles

Start with some questions for the group to consider:

  • How do we feel when people are friendly and speak to us pleasantly?
  • Can we think of times when we’ve been helped to understand something or encouraged to do something that we didn’t think we could do?
  • What difference does it make when people are growling and negative instead of being friendly and positive?
  • What’s it like for children?
  • How can we speak to kids so they’ll feel encouraged?

Show the posters from the Chicago Juvenile Protective Association called ‘Your words have power, use them wisely’.

Ask the group:

  • How do these images make you feel?
  • How would the child feel?

Watch the Tākai Children’s voices video. Ask:

  • What do the kids say about how they like to be spoken to?

Practise positive statements

In pairs, or as a group, practise talking in a positive way. Ask:

  • What are some helpful phrases to use?

Give copies of suitable Tākai booklets. Ask:

  • What might the people be saying in each of the photos in the booklet?
  • Use your imagination and create some quotes for them.
  • What’s the effect?
  • How would the child feel?

Helpful resources for whānau