I came across this page in Parents Magazine the other night entitled, “10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kids.” I had to chuckle when I immediately saw that the first four are standards of mine. I immediately took offense, and then read further. Not so offended anymore, but I have my own thoughts.
1. “Let me help.” Yes, we want our children to try things on their own, experiment, make mistakes, and learn from them. That’s why I allow Emma to try something first. If she’s safe, I give it a few minutes. If she gets frustrated or seems to need help, I say, “Do you want me to help?” Sometimes she says no. Most of the time she says yes. It works for us.
2. “Great Job.” Why can’t I say that? Well, they mean that you shouldn’t say it all the time so that it becomes meaningless. The author suggests that you use specific compliments related to the good job done. I get it. I was a teacher for 25 years. I can do that.
3. “Be careful.” Sorry. I am always going to say that. You can’t stop me.
4. “You’re OK.” Yep. She falls down. I know she’s not hurt. I say it. I understand that I shouldn’t ignore any pain she may have experienced. I know I should show empathy. But if she jumps right back up to find her next conquest while rehearsing her next dramatic role, you better believe, I’m gonna say it!
And by the way, I do not like and try not to use the word, “should”. As my yoga teacher taught me…don’t should on yourself.
And another thing…never? Why does anyone ever say never?