Top Ten Phrases to Instantly be a Better Parent


Many times as parents, we blurt out sayings that we heard as children and later vowed to never say to our own children. However, that is easier said than done. In times of stress, we revert very easily back to actions and phrases we heard and seen when we were parented.

Parenting skills are learned skills, and we can consciously effect change if we become aware of what needs to be changed. Here are 10 common parenting phrases and alternatives of “what to say instead” to nurture closer, caring, and more respectful relationships with our children.

INSTEAD OF:                                                     TRY:

You are a bad boy!                                              What did you learn from this?

Hurry Up! We are late!                                       It’s okay. Take the time you need.

Oh NO! Fudge! Look at
what you have done!                                           It really won’t matter five years  from now!

You need to…                                                        I need you to…

Because I said so!                                                 I’ll explain my reasoning in five minutes.

Stop that tantrum right now!                             You feel frustrated. Want a hug?

No!                                                                          I can see you really want it.

You’ve wrecked my….                                   I’m really angry. I need to take a time-out.

Stop doing that!                                             Would you consider this?

Suck it up and stop crying.                          It’s okay to cry and feel your feelings.

Go play and leave me alone.                        I love you!

Try any one of these substitutions today and you will see how much better your parent-child relationship will be. If you are not sure what to say and how to say it, especially in the moment, just offer a hug. You will be surprised how much body language can communicate empathy and affection, and then you can get on with solving the problem with your child.

Judy Arnall is a professional international award-winning Parenting and Teacher Conference Speaker, and Trainer, Mom of five children, and author of the best-selling book, “Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery” and the new DVD, “Plugged-In Parenting: Connecting with the Digital Generation for Health, Safety and Love,” and the new book, “The Last Word on Parenting Advice.” (403) 714-6766

Copyright permission granted for “reproduction without permission” of this article in whole or part, if the above credit is included in its entirety.

About Judy Arnall, BA, DTM, CCFE

BA, DTM, CCFE, Certified child development specialist and master of non-punitive parenting and education practices. Keynote speaker and best-selling author of "Discipline Without Distress", "Parenting With Patience", "Attachment Parenting Tips Raising Toddlers to Teens", and "Unschooling To University."
This entry was posted in Babies 0-1, Emerging Adult Children 19-25, General Parenting, Preschoolers 3-5, School-Aged 6-12, Teenagers 13-19, Toddlers 1-2 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Top Ten Phrases to Instantly be a Better Parent

  1. Online games says:

    I couldnt have said it any better to be honest! keep up the awesome work. You are very talented & I only wish I could write as good as you do 🙂 …


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