This is me and my two sons, Oli and Jamie.


Oli is 4 and a half and is at school now. Since he’s started to speak, I have been conducting something of an experiment on him. There are certain words that I won’t allow him to say. When he does say them, I either correct him with a different, but (in my mind anyway) preferable way of looking at the same situation, or I just look at him until he corrects himself.

The result is that certain words are either not in his vocabulary, or at least he uses them far less then most people do. It’s hard work (as is every aspect of parenting – Jamie wakes repeatedly in the night, often as much as 20-30 times) but I think it’s worth it when I look at how he approaches problems now. The main one with Oli is that I don’t allow him to say “I can’t”.


In general I’ve always found the way people phrase things to be an important starting position for how they go about tackling them and how successful they often are.


The table below shows a list of words that I try to stop my children and my clients saying along with alternative ways of phrasing it that usually achieve more success. Next time you find yourself saying any of the words on the left, try substituting it with a phrase from the right and see how you find it.


1!ERROR! C1 -> Formula Error: An unexpected error occurred

Jon Hall
Jon Hall

When not helping people to transform their lives and bodies, Jon can usually be found either playing with his kids or taxi-ing them around. If you'd like to find out more about what we do at RISE then enter your details in the box to the right or bottom of this page or at - this is the same way every single one of the hundreds who've described this as "one of the best decisions I've ever made" took their first step.