What to say instead...
of ‘Good Job’, ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘Be Careful, and other common, well-meaning parenting phrases.
As adults we do our best to support our kids in becoming secure, self-assured, confident, and kind humans. The way we respond to our children can help shape the way the experience, interpret, and show up in this world. When we use language intentionally it can help foster independence, curiosity, a healthy sense of self, and a grounded sense of belonging. This post will explore some common phrases and how we can shift our language to expand opportunities for our children’s growth.
‘Good Job’ - this is perhaps one of the most common parenting phrases used. Whether it is a response to an artistic venture, athletic trial, or grade on a test, the words “good job” can be heard in family rooms, sports bleachers, and classrooms everywhere. This phrase is not inherently ‘bad’ but it does emphasize product over process making the statement more evaluative than encouraging. Instead of highlight a child’s innate skill or intrinsic effort, it places the importance on our approval, not their effort. ADD RESEARCH HERE
Here are some alternatives to consider: