03 December 2009
Be careful not to touch the wall, there's a brand-new coat of paint
I have been meaning to tell you, I have a phrase that is a pet peeve. One that I rarely say, and hate when I do..I know you've said it, but to what end? The phrase, "Be careful." I know that it is instinct. I know that it is reflexive. But, really, what does it achieve except eye rolling and risky behavior. I try to back off, to adopt the "that'll learn 'em" stance. I really think at times this makes other parents uncomfortable, and I've even heard them suck in through their teeth and throw it out there in place of my obviously neglectful parenting style... My kids even say it for me sometimes confidently "I'm being careful, mom." I choose for now to be more specific when the kids are in danger of harm, like "if you try to balance on that twig across those two cinder blocks, it's liable to hurt you." Or, even asking, "what do you think will happen if you keep swinging that sword around your head?" I know my way is wordier, but I will continue to be irked on the playground by repetitive shrieks of "BE CAREFUL!"