Be Careful

Children are constantly being told to “be careful” when they are doing something that seems potentially dangerous or tricky to US.
Be careful when they are climbing.
Be careful when they are running.
Be careful before jumping.
Be careful when they are using a sharp tool.
Be careful when they are on their scooter.
Be careful. Be careful.

We then want them to take risks when they are older, because that is how we get ahead in life. We tell them, “You can do this!”, “I don’t understand why you are so afraid?” & “go for it!”. However, they’ve learnt to “be careful”.

When we say “be careful” we are showing our children that they can’t trust their own self & they might perceive everything as a threat, believing nothing is safe.

Children have spatial awareness, they are aware of their surroundings, body space & distances. They also have their own sense of internal & physical limits. “Be careful” brings children to hesitate rather than gain self-confidence & stay connected with their own body’s wisdom.

Let allow our kids to trust their own sense of caution. Allow them to problem solve their own way out of tricky situations. we want our kids to know they are capable of facing challenging situations and stepping out of their comfort zone with confidence.

In the situations where we really worry about their safety we can stay nearby & get curious. we can ask them how they are feeling or if they’ve noticed what you’ve noticed or ask them to share their plans with us. This is a lot more useful than saying “be careful”. Let’s show them that we trust their inner wisdom so that they can trust themselves too.

Alternatives to “Be careful”:

  • “What are your plans?”
  • “Did you notice the huge branch in front of you?”
  • “How do you feel on the wet rock? Is it slippery?”
  • “Does it feel safe for you to go up higher?”

“How does it feel up there?”


with love,

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