I risk offending a few people here, but it drives me nuts when parents tell kids to “make good choices.” Yeah, like YOU are making such great ones yourself. Let’s explore:
“Daddy didn’t make a good choice when he got drunk at his work party and then drove home, resulting in a big, fat DUI. He needs to make better choices.”
“Mommy knows we are broke and can’t pay our bills, but Mommy REALLY wants that pair of heels at Macy’s, so Mommy’s going to buy them with a credit card. It’s not a good choice, but Mommy’s a grownup and can do what she wants.”
“Mommy only gets to eat air for dinner tonight because she made a bad food choice and had 3 pounds of M&Ms earlier today.”
So what’s my alternative? My solution? Just tell the kid to “CUT IT OUT” if they’re doing something bad. And when you send them to someone’s house to play without you, just tell them, “BE GOOD” and then do that thing where you make the peace sign and point from your eyes to theirs to signify that you are watching them all the time. I get so sick of all the psychobabble when parenting can be so simple.
And, yes, I AM an expert at screwing up at the job of parenting, so you probably shouldn’t listen to me.