Everyone knows that you shouldn’t curse around your kids, because they pick it up! You also shouldn’t say anything that will damage their self esteem, or scar them for life. Most people are aware of this. However, there are other phrases that EVERY parent says (me included) that are actually harmful as well– some are very surprising! No, your kid won’t be emotionally ruined if you use them, but alternative ways of wording things are sometimes much better. Check out this article by Michelle Crouch at Parenting.com for the phrases:
-”You’re okay.”- Try giving him a hug and acknowledging what he’s feeling by saying something like, “That was a scary fall.” Then ask whether he’d like a bandage or a kiss (or both).
-”I’m on a diet.”- Watching your weight? Keep it to yourself. If your child sees you stepping on the scale every day and hears you talk about being “fat,” she may develop an unhealthy body image. Instead, encourage healthy eating habits and how fun exercise is!
-”Be careful.”- Saying this while your child is balancing on the monkey bars at the playground actually makes it more likely that he’ll fall. “Your words distract him from what he’s doing, so he loses focus,”
-”Don’t talk to strangers.” Since the vast majority of child-abduction cases involve someone a kid already knows, you might also adopt McBride’s favorite safety mantra: “If anyone makes you feel sad, scared, or confused, you need to tell me right away.”