Sticks and Stones -The Power of WordsPosted: July 21, 2014 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Dictionary, Julie Cole, kids, mabels labels, Parenting Tips, Raising Children, Raising girls, Vocabulary words, Words that should be banned, working mothers Leave a comment
Words are powerful. My dad was an English teacher and word junkie so we were always taught to use our words carefully. The lesson has stuck with me and I have found that in raising my kids, I’m careful about not using vocabulary words that I don’t like. There are certain words not in my personal dictionary, that I’m pretty sure they’ve never heard me use. The short list includes:
I just don’t like this term and never have. It feels exclusive and it inevitably leads to annoying sentences like “I’m not your BEST FRIEND anymore” and “Sorry, but Jenny is already my BEST FRIEND”. I find the newer terms like “BFF” and “Bestie” far less annoying because they seem to be used more generally and don’t seem so serious. The term “best friend” feels like it should have a ring and commitment ceremony attached to it.
Just because a girl is sporty and adventurous does not make her like a boy. It makes her sporty and adventurous. These kinds of gender stereotypes have no place in my home (or society).
“Fat” and “skinny”
As a general rule, I don’t speak about appearances in front of my kids. I specifically try to stay away from comments regarding body shape when describing how someone looks, and particularly these two very loaded words.
My kids have never heard me say this word and certainly not in the context of me going on one. My hope is that my daughters will never feel like they need to diet. I like to think that I will face most parental challenges with a certain level of comfort and confidence. I know the exception is eating disorders. I have three girls and if any of them were sticking their fingers down their throat, you would find me in a corner rocking in the fetal position. The thought of facing eating disorders horrifies me and my heart goes out to families raising girls and dealing with it.
“Waitress” and “Mailman”
My kids never hear me use gender when describing a job or career. Yep, this PC mama says, “Server” and “Mail Carrier”, to name just two.
“I hate you”
My kids have never heard me use this term nor has anyone else. I don’t think I’ve ever used this phrase. Words cannot be taken back, even when you are sorry you said them.
Do you have parenting tips on any words that you keep out of your personal dictionary? What words are on the “no say” list in your house? Do you hear any words that make you cringe or that you try not to use in front of your children?
Julie Cole – Founder Mabels Labels
How To Tell Kids They’re Not Getting What They Want With Positive DisciplinePosted: July 2, 2014 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Big Families, Disciplining Children, Julie Cole, mabels labels, Parenting Tips, Positive Parenting Leave a comment
I have a busy house full of my kids, their friends, neighbourhood kids, and an assorted number of random drop-ins. I’d rather not sound like the meanest mommy on the block, so I have a few key phrases that allow me to say “NO WAY” to my kids, without using those exact words. Here are a few of my favourites:
“Asked and Answered”
You know that annoying habit kids have of asking you the same thing over and over again in hopes of wearing you down so they get their own way? Rather than saying, “NO” a hundred times, I simply answer the question once. If the nagging child continues asking, I respond with, “asked and answered.” It shows them that I’m unwavering and saves me from saying, “NO” repeatedly.
Kid: “Mom, can Addie sleep over?”
Me: “No, not tonight.”
Kid: “Mom, PLEASE can Addie sleep over?”
Me: “Asked and answered.”
“One per Customer”
One of the downsides of giving a kid a treat is that they don’t just appreciate that one treat, they always beg for more. When I have a houseful of kids and I have them all screaming for more of this or another of that, I feel like going all “Soup Nazi” on them and screaming, “NO WAY, you greedy brats!” Instead, I use positive discipline to smile and say, “Sorry, it’s one per customer.” In other words, take whatever is being served up and move right along.
“Try Again With Your Cool Voice”
You know that whiney voice kids use whenever they possibly can? Rather than disciplining children by telling them what NOT to do (i.e. “Stop your whining, it’s driving me CRAZY!”) I try to be proactive and tell them what TO DO (i.e. “Can you try asking again with your cool voice?) That way I’m not whining, about their whining.
“No Opinion Shopping”
Opinion shopping is when kids go to one parent for permission to do something and when they don’t like the answer they get, they go to the other parent hoping for a different outcome. When my kids or their friends try this, rather than screaming, “No, you manipulative little freaks!” I smile and remind them that there is no opinion shopping allowed.
All these phrases tell my kids they’re not getting their way, and allow me to appear calm, cool and collected while delivering the message. Do you have any parenting tips or “go to” key phrases in your family?