In our marriage, my husband and I are learning that it’s best not to use the words “always” or “never” when we are having disagreements. I believe that I can apply that rule to parenting as well. Here are three “never’s” that I’ve found it best not to say.
1. I will never _______________ (bribe my child with candy/let him leave the house in his pajamas/allow cartoons to entertain her/etc.) There are some days when we make compromises just to get through the day with our sanity intact, and it might be best to leave all of your options open!
2. My child will never _______________ (throw a temper tantrum in the grocery store/defy my authority/be rude to other children/etc.) While I may not have spoken these words prior to becoming a parent, I certainly thought them! One of the greatest revelations I’ve had as a parent is that my children are individuals who ultimately make their own decisions. I do my best to train them to obey and do right, apply consequences for their poor decisions as needed, but I cannot control everything they do.
3. My child would never _______________ (tell a lie/cheat on a test/do something wrong behind my back/etc.) This is a phrase we want to spit out when a teacher, coach, or other authority figure comes to us about our child’s misbehavior. While we’d all like to think that our children are perfect, they’re not. It’s best to take the accusation to heart, determine if it’s true, and deal with it accordingly.
Are there other phrases you think parents should avoid saying?