When someone else says something “wrong” to their children, it's easy to identify. You cringe a bit, judge a bit. (Most likely, like me, you judged a bit more before you had kids of your own.) We all slip up. As my wife would be happy to attest, if the paparazzi followed me around town with my boy, they would catch me saying things I did not pick up from Mr. Rogers.
Knowing what to say isn’t always easy. It's even more complicated when you are speaking to the people whose lives you have the most influence upon (not to mention when it feels like the entire grocery store checkout line is watching and listening intently). One book will tell you to say one thing, another will tell you to do the opposite. Both stances are backed up by research, so how do you know which is the right way? Take heart: while parenting perfection is indeed unattainable, I have a few fall-back phrases that can work wonders in kids.
Read on for three magic phrases for parents.