HomeHealth & BehaviorSocial Skills

Power words

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By GreatSchools Staff

Power words

1. Cooperation

What it means: To work well with other people.
If your child says: “It’s not fair you get to decide how we build the Lego tower. I want to do it my way!”
You can say: “How about you and your friend cooperate? You can build this area over here, and he can build that area over there.”

2. Compassion

What it means: To care about other people and how they feel.
If your child says: “My sister is such a baby! She always cries whenever she hurts herself.”
You can say: “Your sister looks like she’s really sad. We have compassion for each other in our family. You can show your sister compassion by asking her if she needs help.”

3. Persistence

What it means: To keep trying to do something until you succeed.
If your child says: “I give up! I’m never going to learn to swim. ”
You can say: “I’ve seen you have real persistence before. You thought you wouldn’t learn to ride a bike, but you kept trying, and now you know how. You can do the same with swimming.”

4. Self-control

What it means: To behave well and control your behavior, even if you’re sad or mad.
If your child says: “I hate Roberto! He’s always taking the ball away from me at recess.”
You can say: “I know you're really mad at Roberto, but you showed self-control. You didn’t hit him or yell at him. That can be really difficult to do when you are angry.”

Comments from readers

"I really liked this article. I am going to use this with my grandson. Thanks. We need more reinforcements such as this."
"I love these four power words. I talk to my daughter all the time, about how important it is to be positive. These words will help me teach her more ways to be a positive person."
"I love the idea of power words for the week. It will expand their vocabulary and give them tools for writing."
"I LOVE this article. John Gray (Mars and Venus) encouraged using the word 'cooperate' and we have had great success with it. We also use 'self-control' in our family. I'm excited to include persistence and compassion. Praising that behavior has paid off in BIG dividends in our family!!"
"Thanks for the encouragement to assist us to do more for our children."
"Excellent advice! I have taught children for over 30 years. Those 4 characteristic can be taught and modeled. They will be a benefit for a lifetime, not just the school years."