2 Horrible Words We Need to Stop Using On Your Kids

2 Horrible Words We Need to Stop Using On Your Kids That Will Help You To Raise Brave Kids

updated 2 horrible words

Please welcome guest contributor Staci Levine. Today she shares a story on how we need to banish 2 words from our vocabulary to build confidence in our children. 

I met Staci at the Outdoor Retailer show this past January. We got to talking and she said, “I’m an Adventure Mom!” and began telling me this incredible story of her spirited daughter. Instantly, I fell in love with her young daughters spirit and admired Staci for the amazing example of motherhood. See for yourself:


I don’t like the words “be careful”. I think separately they are fine words but when used together they can be rather negative – as in Brake! Slow down!  Stop!

Really what we mean when we use those words is “you’re freaking me out so stop what you’re doing!” And doesn’t that inhibit their adventurous pursuits?

family travel

My little 9-year-old daughter has been one of those daring, fearless, adventurous kids since birth. No joke. She tried coming out with her umbilical cord around her neck because I’m assuming she wanted to bungee jump out. As soon as she saw water, she dove right in – headfirst. Swimming lessons were in order at age 2.

outdoor families

It’s true that she has inherited some of her adventurous spirit from her mother; I do love a good thrill myself. But when your baby wants to fling herself off a 30-foot platform, bungee jumping to the ground, right in front of you, that’s a whole other level of “be careful!”

beautiful brave and strong girl

Being a mother to a child like this is certainly an exercise in finger biting. I have chosen to not use those two horrible words, and instead embrace her wonderful, adventurous spirit and feed her soul with all the exciting thrills that life has to offer.

no fear little girl

Our latest adventure is case in point. We were in Hawaii and my husband and I wanted to go zip lining. We weren’t sure if our daughter was tall enough – the website said she was but the person on the phone had a different answer, so we showed up anyway knowing once they looked in her eyes, they’d know who they were dealing with.

There were 5 couples and one kid.

The average age of the group looked to be about 35. And an 8 year old.

This was no novice zip lining – the shortest was 300 feet and the most thrilling was 1000 feet and it culminated with a bungee jump off a 30 foot platform to the ground. Our guides were nice young men and I think they were excited to have a little spitfire with us to make the day extra exciting

After a lengthy tutorial on what to expect, my daughter’s hand flew up when asked who wanted to go first.

She proceeded to go first on every line, insisting she would be the “tester” for us all. As soon as she realized she was going slower than the rest because she weighs less, she asked the guide to zip with her tandem so she’d go faster. What a joy for me to see her filled with so much life and happiness.

teaching our children to be brave

The last thrill of the day arrived. The guide explained what to expect on the bungee and once again, “ME FIRST!”

Now of course I knew she was safe, but when I say I was terrified watching her jump, my limbs were literally shaking with fear. But I absolutely didn’t let her see that. Rather I wanted her to see my excitement and anticipation and didn’t want to impart any of my fear onto her. 

She jumped, landed with her feet on the ground and screamed up “Mommy that was so much fun, JUMP!”

And I did.

And it was so much fun.

the brave girls guide

Her favorite story is telling about the 10-foot wave she surfed while in surf lessons (really it was 4 feet) but I’ll save that story for next time…

How do you teach your children to be brave?

A partner in Los Angeles-based lifestyle PR agency, SnL Communications, www.snlc.net, Staci is an entrepreneur, mom of one energetic, full of life 8 year old girl, a wife, yogi, nature lover, interior design enthusiast and passionate traveler. Growing up in the fashion industry, Staci began to love fashion at a very young age.  Living in California her whole life enjoying skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and SUP, this aquarian truly loves the water. 


How to raise brave kids



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2 thoughts on “2 Horrible Words We Need to Stop Using On Your Kids

  1. No, I don’t believe “be Careful” inhibits their adventurous pursuits. I believe it teaches them to stop and think before they do something stupid…like climb up on the dresser and jump off. I believe that it is important to allow them the space to try and fail or succeed, but children aren’t born with the general knowledge of “oh if I do that I can end up in the hospital” So I will continue to remind my 5 year old son to “be careful” so he will think before he leaps….which is also an important lesson that can help them through adulthood.

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