Have you worn out "be careful?"

Posted on Sep 21, 2017 by Stephanie Jenkins

An article from Lifehacker's Offspring blog recently brought attention to how many times we tell our kids to "be careful." Generally, there is a lot of information packed into those two words. They can mean several different things. In the end, our kids start to tune out the words, be careful.

Here is a list from the blog on what we should say instead:

  • “Stay focused on what you’re doing.”
  • “What is your next move?”
  • “Do you feel safe there?”
  • “Take your time.”
  • “Does that branch feel strong and stable?”
  • “I’m here if you need me.”
  • “Please find a safe spot for your stick while you’re running.”
  • “Watch out for other people and give them lots of space.”
  • “Let’s move to this lower-traffic zone.”
  • “Sticks need space. Sarah, look around you—do you have enough space to swing that big stick?”
  • “Please keep one end of your stick on the ground!”
  • “What’s your plan with that big stick?”
  • “Rocks need space!”
  • “Find more space!”
  • “Before you throw that rock, what do you need to look for?”
  • “That rock looks really heavy! Can you manage it?”
  • “Please move slowly and carefully near the ___.”
  • “Please give each other lots of space so that no one feels like they need to push, and no one gets knocked over by accident.”
  • “Do you feel stable/balanced?”
  • “Do you need more space?”
  • “Make eye contact before you tackle someone. Make sure they know you are coming so that they can get their body ready.”
  • “Check in with each other. Make sure everyone is still having a good time.”
  • “Ask her if she’s ok.”
  • “Ask him if he’s still having fun.”
  • “Did you like that? Make sure you tell her if you didn’t like that.”
  • “If you need to run, meet me at the next trail marker!”
  • “Let’s check this cave/fort to make sure it’s safe to hide in.”



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