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Hands Behind Back


When I’m in a shop with my young children, and there is breakable items, instead of saying, “Don’t touch anything,” I say “Put your hands behind your back.”

It’s helpful to tell children (especially young children)  WHAT TO DO rather than WHAT NOT TO DO. This is another example of proactive parenting (rather than reactive).

Related posts:

Be Proactive NOT Reactive

Be Quiet!

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Melissa
    May 10, 2010 at 8:08 am

    What a great suggestion. I’ll try that next time – it should still work with my boys (6 & 8) 🙂

  • Reply
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    May 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

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  • Reply
    Michelle
    May 10, 2010 at 8:44 am

    When children have dirty hands that need washing (eg. from a painting activity) and you have to get them to the bathroom/sink to clean up, without getting paint on the walls, furniture and anything else children would probably runs their hands over on the way…a good tip is to say
    “prayer hands to the sink please”, this way both their hands are touching in a prayer position and the can’t really touch anything, make them concentrate on what they are doing with their hands….or “hands up parade!” meaning hands up in the air above your heads untill we get to the sink.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      May 10, 2010 at 9:43 am

      That’s exactly it Michelle! I also use the ‘hands in prayers’ for when my children are dirty. Good job Mum.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    May 10, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Love this! In our house we have ‘self control’ hands. Where the have to hold their hands together until we say they can let go. We practice this at the dinner table while they wait for mum and dad to finish serving the dinner and sit down.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      May 10, 2010 at 9:45 am

      That’s great Sarah. It’s great practice waiting at the dinner table because it’s quite a hard thing to do when you have a plate of food in front of you. I like that: self control hands.

  • Reply
    Monique
    May 10, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Another excellent tip thanks Kelly. I have been working on the “Talk in a whisper” one!!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      May 10, 2010 at 9:46 am

      Thanks Monique. It does take a bit of work, but worth it. How is the whisper going?

  • Reply
    Debbie
    May 10, 2010 at 10:09 am

    We say ‘Hold your hands’ or ‘Look with your eyes’ – but the first one usually works best. I agree that it’s best to say what to do, rather than what not to do.

  • Reply
    Ash
    May 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I had to giggle when I read this, because its EXACTLY the phrase mum said to us, and it works a treat!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      May 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm

      HA! Yes, my Mum used to say it to me as well. I learnt from the best.

  • Reply
    Katherine
    May 10, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    you are SUPERMUMMY! Honestly, these are such great ideas.

    I think i am going to have to save your blog so that in 5-10 years when i have little ones, i can come back here and re-read the techniques, they are wonderful!

    K xx 🙂

    • Reply
      Colin Wee
      May 11, 2010 at 1:24 am

      @Katherine, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell her! Colin

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      May 11, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      Well, hopefully I’m still blogging when you have children Katherine. I think you will make a beautiful mother.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    May 10, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Love how encouraging you are Kelly.
    I too like the idea of ‘prayer hands’… but don’t think my kids would know where to put them…
    I usually say ‘hands in the air’ – but now I will try ‘hands behind your back’ when in shops.

  • Reply
    Colin Wee
    May 11, 2010 at 1:20 am

    I typically say “touch only with your eyes,” and “walk forward.”

    We use the hands on the laps instruction for Montessori jobs. When I demonstrate a job, I get my child to put his/her hands on his lap so that they can observe what I am doing without interrupting me. When it comes to their turn, I do the same.

    Good advice! This should be in my Ministry of Discipline list of articles.

    Colin

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      May 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm

      That’s great Colin. That reminds me when I talk to my two year old son, I often hold his hands while I talk.

      You are welcome to use it if you like Colin. Talk soon.

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