HIGHLIGHTS: Telling your kid they’re amazing is great, but don’t say it about EVERYTHING they do, or it won’t mean as much. And empty threats like “don’t make me turn this car around” aren’t a great idea either.
1. “I’m on a diet.” Kids look to you to feel good about themselves. So if you don’t like your body, you’re setting them up to have body issues. That said, portion control, healthy eating, and exercise are still good things to talk about.
2. “You’re amazing.” You SHOULD tell them they’re amazing. Just not all the time, because then it won’t mean as much. And it’s good to do it when there’s a specific reason, like they just did well on a test.
3. “You’re the smartest.” It’s another one you should just be strategic with, because you still want them to keep studying for their tests. Sometimes kids hear it too much and think they’ll just be able to breeze through life. But having a strong work ethic can be even more important than brains in the long run.
4. “Don’t make me turn the car around.” Do parents really still say that? Well, it’s just supposed to be an example of an empty threat you probably wouldn’t follow through with. And you don’t want to do that too often, because they’ll catch on eventually.
5. “Leave me alone.” We should all look for gentler ways to say stuff, especially with kids. Saying something like, “I need some me-time right now” can accomplish the same thing. And it’s less likely to hurt their feelings.