Your pre-schooler is climbing along a fallen tree trunk. You’re nervous about it and so you shout, ‘be careful!’ Whilst it might sound like sensible advice, what does ‘be careful! really mean to a pre-schooler? And ‘be careful’ of what exactly? Falling? Splinters in the wood? Rogue creepy crawlies?
Here’s the thing, when we use phrases too often, they lose their meaning.
Your toddler is jumping off the couch – be careful!
Climbing up the slide – be careful!
Walking across a stream – be careful!
At best the phrase will be ignored and when you genuinely need your child to ‘be careful’ you will likely be ignored and worst, the phrase will make your child very nervous and fearful of trying new activities.
What You’ll Learn in this article:
- Breaking the ‘be careful’ habit’
- When to interrupt play
- The difference between risk and hazard
- How to dress for play
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