“BE CAREFUL”. That’s what’s said about a million times a day in this house. However, parents aren’t meant to say “be careful” anymore. It’s not specific enough by all accounts.
Observe the 29 other things you can say instead, such as “I’ve noticed that there are a lot of fallen trees and sticks to trip on here. Watch out!” or, “Should we move this game to a more open area?” Others include “Before you throw that rock, what do you need to look for?”, “Please give each other lots of space so that no one feels like they need to push, and no one gets knocked over by accident” and a personal favourite “Do you feel stable/balanced?”
In theory, it’s a lovely idea, however, there’s rarely enough time to utter something as lengthy as – let’s say – no. 8 on the list; “I’ve noticed that this is a really busy area and I’m worried that someone not playing this game might get knocked over. Watch out for other people and give them lots of space. Let’s move to this lower-traffic zone.”
Keeping with this theme of “another thing you’re doing wrong as a 21st Century Parent”, there is a slew of articles informing us what we should be saying to our children every day.
They’re all a variation on a theme, so here’s the most succinct version via Pop Sugar.
- Mention something they did that you’re proud of.
- Something you know they tried their best at.
- Something you loved doing with them.
- Something they said that made you laugh.
- And no matter how you choose to say it: “I love you.”
With that in mind, behold the slew things I say to my children every day – sometimes repeatedly – without fail.
• “BE CAREFUL” (often shortened to “CAREFUL”)
• “GEEEENTLE. Gentle now”
• “Get off that”
• “Get your finger out of there”
• “In a minute”
• “Give me two minutes”
• “Mummy’s working”
• “We’ll see”
• “That’s the plan”
• “That’s not for eating”
• “Tidy up, this place is a disgrace”
• “Pants are private”
• “Left, and right, and left again”
And, more recently
• “Mind, there might be poo lurking in those leaves”
• And, of course, “I love you.”
Do you have anything to add to the list?