Positive scolding

I know that you can do better and you know it, too, don't you? You are much better than your recent behavior is telling the world that you are; isn't it? Way down, deep inside, you really are a good kid; aren't you? You know, I would not trade you for any child in the whole wide world. You are mine and I am keeping you. Even now, I love you more than you know at this moment. You really are a good kid. I am never letting you go. But, we are here because we are not going to let the way you have acted get in the way of who you are and what you can become! You really are bunches and bunches better than you have behaved recently. Why just the other day your grandmother (teacher, whoever, or I) was saying (praise, praise, praise) ...
  — Example of positive scolding from the site Spank with Love

Positive scolding is an approach to scolding that uses positive, encouraging words instead of negative, discouraging ones.

Most people think of scolding as something that is by definition negative criticism. However it is also possible to express the same but using positive verbalizations. In positive scolding, the words criticize what's in need of correction, but in a way that stresses the good qualities of the offender and expresses the scolding person's confidence in the offender's ability to improve.

Examples of negative scolding:

  • "You're a bad bad boy, how could you do such an evil thing?"
  • "You naughty girl, you didn't listen at all to what I told you!"
  • "I've had enough of your constant misbehaviour!"

Examples of positive scolding:

  • "I know you're a good boy inside, and you can behave well if you really want to!"
  • "You're a clever girl, and you can do much better than that!"
  • "You know that offensive words hurt other people's feelings, and you can learn to express yourself in a polite and acceptable way."

Despite the positive words, the tone of voice is still that of a scolding, so that the recepient, in a way, will feel scolded and praised at the same time.

See alsoEdit