Things Left Unsaid

by tinysneakers

Did you know there are approximately 88 billion things you should NEVER SAY or do as a parent or you will screw your kid up royally for life? True story. Winking smile

Ridiculous things. Like telling them “no”. Or not saying “good job”. Or making them share – gasp.

I get it, I do.

But I completely don’t.


Hearing no over and over again could definitely have a negative impact. On the surface, I understand that one. Being told you can’t and you shouldn’t and you don’t and no no no over and over could some how subconsciously make your kid think he’s not capable of anything. And saying no, no, no, don’t, over and over could potentially take away the impact for when it’s really important, like in the instance of hot stoves and oncoming traffic.

But really? Have you tried to not say no in any form? Have you tried rephrasing every sentence into a positive? Sure, it’s great to try it and mix up the message you’re sending every once in awhile, but is my kid going to break if I say “don’t” 18 times today? Let’s hope not.

Good job.

Ok, the reason you’re not supposed to use this one is because you’re not supposed to “label” kids as good or bad or anything at all. You’re supposed to praise the skill or the effort or something less arbitrary as good or bad.

Again, it’s a great message. But while you watch your two year old throw a ball 23 hundred times in a row, I challenge you to not say “good job” on one of those throws. Yeah, let me hear you praise all of those attempts with something much more meaningful like “I love your effort!” and “You’re working so hard!”. Sometimes kids just need to hear “good job”.

Don’t share.

Come on.

This would be fine if you lived in a bubble or in one of those communities that emphasizes not sharing as a general public policy {yes, those places exist}. But in real life? I beg you to try it and not come off looking like a jerk of a parent.

And the arguments for not sharing only make partial sense. Those that advocate not sharing are really just calling it “taking turns” instead. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. They’ll make the transition from sharing as a child to knowing that it’s not appropriate to just grab something else from another adult just because they want it.


While these are great parenting philosophies to add to your repertoire, I feel like sticking to them non-negotiably is just … not realistic. It’s too much pressure to simply never say “good job”.

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