5 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Kids

It is important to be careful of the words we use with children. Recognize these 5 things you shouldn't say to kids and learn what to say (or do) instead. 5 Things You Shouldn't Say to Kids (And What to Do Instead) ~ Tipsaholic.com #parenting #kids


An angry outburst directed at a child can be more damaging than you might think. Kids need positive encouragement and help in identifying and dealing with their emotions as they grow and develop. Take a closer look at what you say to the children in your life. If you find any of these five common phrases, consider working to change them and to use more positive ways to get the results you desire. The better we do as parents and caregivers, the greater these children’s futures will be as they learn to treat others with respect and kindness.


5 Things You Should Never Say to a Child


1. “If you eat this, you get dessert”

As parents struggle to teach children a healthy way of living, this is one of the phrases that can cause some setbacks. Making kids eat their vegetables before they get the sweet stuff makes vegetables seem like the “bad guy” in the equation, and that’s probably the opposite of what you want. Don’t use healthy foods as a bribe. Consider serving dessert with dinner. Doing so could take some of the emphasis off the dessert itself and put the focus back on the meal as a whole.


2. “Because I said so”

You may remember this one from your own parents’ repertoire, and maybe you also remember how frustrating it could be? Your kids are much more likely to drop an issue, or at least be more accepting, if you really do your best to give a real explanation. And making a commitment to do so may also make you more thoughtful when it comes to responding to your kids’ questions. If your son wants to know why he has to wear his seatbelt or your daughter asks why you want her to eat her green beans, think about it. Be honest. Do some research together if necessary. They may still have questions, but you’ve got science and the law on your side!


3. “Don’t cry” or “You’re okay”

Kids have emotions. They feel them and are honest about them, and it’s healthy for them to express those emotions in different ways as they go through different phases of development. When we say these things, it tends to be because we are uncomfortable with the way their emotions are displaying or because we don’t want others to be uncomfortable. But saying “You’re okay” does not make their hurt go away. Try to look at things from their perspective – if you fall and get hurt, do you want someone to tell you you’re okay, or do you want someone to help you up and talk through the pain with you? The healthy emotional development of our children is based on our reactions to these small situations.


4. “We don’t talk about ____ in this house”

This phrase can turn the most normal of things (like bodily functions, race, or sex) into taboo subjects. If you want your kids to come to you when they have problems in these areas, you’re going to have to answer their questions and address the issues without passing judgment or making them feel ashamed. Instead, you can just answer them by speaking on their level. You don’t have to go into great detail, but don’t tell stories, as you’ll likely wind up retracting them later in your child’s life. If it’s a matter of manners, simply teaching kids that it’s more polite to say “excuse me” or to keep bathroom matters private can be much more effective.


5. “What were you thinking?” or “Why did you do that?”

It can be easy to blurt out these questions when a child acts out or makes a mess. But the shame we place on them when they make an honest mistake can affect their willingness to approach us with greater concerns later on. Depending on the child’s age, the skills to deal with their emotions and mistakes may not be there. It is important in any situation to identify the feelings, the behaviors that occurred, and reinforce positive ideas. If an older sister hits a little brother, it may be appropriate to say, “I can see that you’re angry because your brother took your toy, but it’s not okay to hit. Hitting hurts.” Afterward, you can help sister ask brother to give the toy back and help him to do so. It may also be a good idea when an accident occurs to identify it as such – like when a child tips their cup over at dinner. “It’s okay, sometimes I spill too,” is a simple way to let your child know that these things happen and the best thing they can do is to help with the cleanup.


Remember that children are people too, and the things we say matter. We can be their greatest role models and guide them each day by learning what to say and what to do when it comes to emotions, mistakes, and daily choices.



Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.


More inspiration:

10 Smart Tips to Get Kids Ready Faster in the Morning via tipsaholic.com          Happy healthy kids exercising         4 Steps To A Great Kids Reading Nook via Tipsaholic.com

Getting Ready Tips                Exercising with Kids              Kids’ Reading Nook

10 Hands-On Literacy Activities (ages 6-9)

10 hands on literacy activities for ages 6-9 ~ Tipsaholic.com #literacy #games #kids


No matter how old your child is or what type of schooling he or she receives, supplementing literacy education at home is super important.  If you want your child to be a life-long learner, enjoy reading and get the most out of their language and literacy education, you need to be an active participant in teaching them.  It certainly doesn’t have to be a chore and should feel like fun to both you and your child!  If you’re not sure where to start, here are ideas for 10 hands-on literacy activities for ages 6-9.


1. Board Games

From ages 6-9, kids are more interested in structured games with specific rules and have better attention spans and strategizing skills.  Capitalize on these developments when you plan learning activities for your child!  Here are some board games that focus specifically on language acquisition skills: Silly Sentences, What’s Gnu?, Pop For Sight Words, Tell Tale, Brain Quest.


2. Flash Cards 

While flash cards aren’t ideal teaching tools for every child, they’re an excellent way to switch up activities, take along when traveling or waiting for appointments, or for solo play time.  The good news is that flash cards don’t have to be boring!  Here are several sets that are sure to spark interest in kids: Spelling Flashcards, My Favorite Things Flash Cards, Alphabet Animals Flash Cards, Alphabeasties, Rhyming Words Flash Kids Flash Cards.  There are also some great DIY flash card tutorials: Tactile Sight Word Cards, Free Alphabet Flash Cards, Wooden Alphabet Cards.


3. Storytelling Bag

Put many different small objects/toys/cutouts in a bag.  Sit in a circle and begin your story with “Once upon a time…”.  Take turns drawing an item from the bag without looking and fitting it into the story.  Pass the bag around the circle to continue the story until you run out of items.


4. Word Family Portraits

A word family is a group of words that share a common combination of letters and sounds.  This game is an example of successfully scaffolding and building from what your child already knows.  Use pictures from a magazine or your own family photos with words attached and have your child group the individuals into family units within a “photo frame.”


5. Read and Find Game

This is a mash-up of an “I Spy” book and a sensory bin, with practice on reading, hand writing and motor skills thrown in.  You find actual toys with names your child could read, throw them in a bin, make a list of them, and have your child read the list, find the item and write the item down on their own list.  Easy to recreate and easy to learn.


6. Rhyming Jars

Gather a few jars and write a simple word on each.  Write words that rhyme with each jar on craft sticks and have your child choose which jar the sticks go in.


7. Sight Word Parking Lot

Create a “parking lot” on a piece of poster board with a sight word in each parking space.  Give your child cars and direct them to a spot by calling out a word.


8. Sight Word Soup

Using materials from the dollar store, you can easily create this tactile game where kids scoop words out of a “bowl of soup” and identify them.  It’s a fun way to work on letter or word recognition, spelling, reading and fine motor skills.


9. Fiddle Sticks

Directions and a picture can be found here.  To create the game, write sight words on the end of craft sticks.  Color the tip of one or two sticks a bright color.  Put the sticks right end down into a cup.  The players take turns drawing one stick at a time and reading the word out loud.  If they can’t read it, they put the stick back in.  If they draw the stick that’s colored, they must put ALL of their sticks back.  Play continues for a predetermined amount of time and the player with the most sticks when the time is up wins.


10. Multi-Sensory Activities for teaching Sight Words

Basically, have your child create the sight word with any number of different “sensory” objects.  They can start by copying the sight word from a flash card and move on to spelling it out by themselves after you say it.  Different sensory items they can use to create sight words: play dough, shaving cream (spray it out and have them trace into the cream), sand or salt (have them draw the letters in the sand or salt), pipe cleaners, or yarn.


Looking for more ways to engage your 6-9 year old? Try these tips for supplementing your child’s literacy at home.


Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com