Positive Reinforcement: 9 Things You Shouldn't Say to Your Child
Learn what phrases to banish from your vocabulary and how to talk so your kids will really listen
I was trying to do two things at once -- cook (in the kitchen) while deciphering some paperwork (in the next room). I'd been interrupted a thousand times with requests for snacks, shrieks over spilled paint water, questions about what squirrels like to eat, and arguments over whether clouds could be blue and flowers could be green. And did I mention that a ruptured disk in my back was throbbing even worse than my head?
Still, nothing can excuse my behavior that afternoon.
I erupted like Mount Momsuvius: "Enough! Get out! Stop bothering me!" The look on my daughters' faces said it all. The 2-year-old's eyes widened. The 4-year-old furrowed her brow and jabbed her thumb between her lips. Immediately I wished I could stuff the hot-lava words back into my mouth. They certainly hadn't come from my heart, or my brain.
We all say the wrong thing sometimes, leaving our kids feeling hurt, angry, or confused. Read on for some of the most common verbal missteps moms and dads make, and kinder, gentler alternatives.
Next: Why you shouldn’t say, “Leave me alone!”
Contributing editor Paula Spencer is the coauthor of two recently published books, Consciously Female and The Happiest Toddler on the Block.