Take Care With Labels

The English language is full of adjectives that we use to describe how we feel and what we think about the world around us. These words often label what is good and bad, beautiful and ugly, easy and difficult, or success and failure.

Where our children are concerned we need to be weary of these and other labels.

-In their minds, as we name things as beautiful then its opposite must be ugly. Create the space for them to decide how an experience resonated with them. They will gain a stronger sense of their individuality.

-If I am good and received accolades for my behavior then I good because it made you happy.  If I behave in the opposite and my parent is angry and sends me to my room then I am bad and unlovable. Bad does not need to be stated for the feeling to occur. This dynamic creates people pleasers or oppositional defiance. Help the child to see what feels right for them or wrong for them. Children have a natural compass and will always desire to do the right thing. From here they can choose who they want to be! They find authentic power.

-If I believe something is difficult and my parent, states oh “this should be an easy one!”     Then I feel invalidated. Allow them to determine if something felt difficult or easy. As they move through each experience they will gain a stronger sense of self.

-In most areas in our life, our efforts are judged as a success or failure. Both can be internalized as “I am.” The great Albert Einstein once said, “Never be afraid of making a mistake. A mistake is not a failure. Mistakes can make you better, smarter and faster, if you utilize them properly. Discover the power of making mistakes. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, if you want to succeed, triple the amount of mistakes that you make.” It is unfortunate that in our world we have become so afraid to fail when truth tells us that it is in our willingness to fail that we truly are a success.


This is part of my “weekly tips for parents” series.  Each week you are given one insight to carry with you and implement throughout the week.  I recommend you use sticky notes or whatever means you choose to remind yourself of the parenting skill you’re putting in to practice this week.  I’d love for you to share your experience throughout the week on my Facebook page so that other parents may benefit from your experience. 

If you would like to have the weekly tips delivered to your phone, download my mobile app for Android or iPhone/iPad.


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