12 Common Parenting Phrases

  • Photo by Saptak Ganguly / Stocksy United

“Be careful!” “Hurry up!” “Be good.” Phrases like these are common to the parenting lexicon—we’ve all uttered them from time to time. Used occasionally, most are harmless enough. But when we use certain phrases repetitively, some off-the-cuff phrases may contain unintended messages that can be discouraging to children.

Take a look at these 12 common phrases—and try to hear them through a child’s ears. Then, consider tweaking the message just a tad. (We give you the language to do just that below!) After all, words do have power to a child…and we all want our children to feel encouraged and positive, and have a sense of possibility for their lives.

 

1. You often say: “Be good.”

What a child may hear: “You aren’t usually a good person.”

Say it a little better: “Use your teamwork skills and have fun!”

 

2. You often say: “Don’t get into trouble.”

What a child may hear: “You get into trouble if I don’t watch you.”

Say it a little better: “Respect yourself and others.”

 

3. You often say: “Not so fast; not so high; not so far.”

What a child may hear: “Live life at only 60 percent.”

Say it a little better: “Hold on tight to be safe.”

 

4. You often say: “Hurry up!”

What a child may hear: “Give up your desires for mine.”

Say it a little better: “I need to leave in ten minutes.”

 

5. You often say: “Don’t cry; don’t be a baby.”

What a child may hear: “Don’t express your emotions.”

Say it a little better: “I like how you share your emotions.”

 

6. You often say: “Stop whining.”

What a child may hear: “Don’t ask for what you want.”

Say it a little better: “Use your words; use your inside voice.”

 

7. You often say: “Here, let me do that.”

What a child may hear: “I don’t have faith that you can do it.”

Say it a little better: “You can do it! Would you like some help?”

 

8. You often say: “You aren’t old enough to do that yet.”

What a child may hear: “You are not trustworthy yet.”

Say it a little better: “I’m not quite ready for you to do that yet.”

 

9. You often say: “We can’t afford it.”

What a child may hear: (Hearing this can create scarcity thinking in your child.)

Say it a little better: “I am unwilling to spend my money on that, but I can help you figure out a way to earn money for it.”

 

10. You often say: “Be careful!”

What a child may hear: “The world is a scary place.”

Say it a little better: “What do you need to remember when you cross the street?”

 

11. You often say: “Be quiet!”

What a child may hear: “Don’t express yourself.”

Say it a little better: “I love your energy, but I’m trying to concentrate. Would you please move into another room?”

 

12. You often say: “I don’t care.”

What a child may hear: (If said often enough, your child may think you really don’t care.)

Say it a little better: “If you want to, that’s totally fine—either way works for me.”

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By | 2017-10-20T07:48:29+00:00 July 11th, 2017|Categories: Positive Parenting Articles|Tags: , |0 Comments

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