Teenagers can be so funny. Sometimes, I feel like whatever I say goes in one ear and out of the other. The humor can fade quickly. Luckily, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Yesterday, I came across an article in Reader’s Digest entitled “Words to Inspire: 7 things you should say to your kids and seven things you shouldn’t.” The authors claim, big surprise, that your child may not hear the words you’re sure you said. Here are their suggestions:
1. What you say: You’re the best!
a. What they hear: Your job in life is to make me happy.
b. A better way to say it: You should be proud of how hard your worked.
2. What you say: Watch your language
a. What they hear: I’ve tuned out what you’re really trying to say.
b. A better way to say it: I’m so glad you came to talk to me, but I have one request for the future. I find that word offensive, so please don’t use it.
3. What you say: We can’t afford that
a. What they hear: Money is the answer to everything
b. A better way to say it: The store is filled with great things today, but we’ve got lots at home already and we’re not going to bring home anything more.
4. What you say: Don’t worry—it’ll be okay
a. What they hear: You’re such a drama queen
b. A better way to say it: I totally understand what you must have gone through. Tell me about it.
5. What you say: Don’t talk to strangers.
a. What they hear: Anyone you don’t know is trying to hurt you
b. A better way to say it: Don’t talk to people who make you feel uncomfortable. Here’s how to tell.
6. What you say: Make sure you share
a. What they hear: Give away your stuff
b. A better way to say it: Jesse would like to play with your race car for a while, but it’s still yours and he will give it back.
7. What you say: Why did you…(miss your curfew, hit your sister, etc…)
a. What they hear: You messed up again
b. A better way to say it: My guess is that you missed your curfew because you were having fun and didn’t want to come home, but that’s still not okay.
Some of these statements I agree with, some seem totally off the chart. What do you think?