Stop Saying - "Be Careful"

Dear Parents:

Our children need our support and guidance in so many ways.

They need to know they’re loved, they need to know they have our support, and they need to know we’ll always be there to guide them when times are tough.

They DON’T need to hear us tell them to “be careful” all the time.

It still takes significant effort on my part to think of better ways to remind my girls they aren’t invincible or to sit back and let them navigate potentially unsafe situations, but it’s a mantra we try to practice as a family every day.

Every single time we take our girls to the park we hear moms and dads (mostly moms) tell their little ones to “be careful.” Not only that, but they tend to hover underneath or next to them in case they fall off of something. I’m not suggesting you let your toddler fall and hurt themselves merely to teach them a lesson, so hear me out.

Yes, I’m that gay dad at the park judging you for hovering over your kids.

How will our children ever learn to navigate situations on their own if we’re always reminding them to “be careful?” Our daughters seem to be more prone to hearing this than their male counterparts, and it needs to stop. Do your part and erase the phrase be careful” from your life. We need our daughters and sons to explore, learn, and experience the ups and downs of life on their own without our constant presence.

We need more fearless women in this world, not less.

Oh, and while we’re at it, children know how to use slides and swings. They don’t need us telling them the “right” way to use them.

Sincerely,

One of the few dads at the park with his kids.

 

*This story was originally published on Medium (click here).

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