A Better Way to Label
The labels we give our children may stick with them forever, says Dr. Harvey Karp. So make sure that you're accentuating the positive! These simple substitutes can go a long way toward making your child feel he's great.
Old Label: Shy
New Label: Careful
Why It Works: A shy child hides from the world, but a careful one just takes smarter steps when he goes out into it.
Old Label: Wild
New Label: Energetic
Why It Works: Wild implies out-of-control, while energetic describes a child who's enthusiastic about life.
Old Label: Fussy
New Label: Selective
Why It Works: Fussy connotes crabbiness and pickiness, while selective means he won't settle for anything less than the best.
Old Label: Stubborn
New Label: Tenacious
Why It Works: A stubborn child refuses to give in without knowing why, while a tenacious one is a fighter who won't quit.
Old Label: Slowpoke
New Label: Thoughtful
Why It Works: Slowpoke sends the signal that a child is lazy, while thoughtful indicates he's taking the time to consider his options.
Old Label: Defiant
New Label: Courageous
Why It Works: A defiant child refuses to do anything that's asked of him, while a courageous one sticks up for what he believes in.
Copyright 2007. Reprinted with permission from the August 2007 issue of Parents magazine.