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As a writer, I've always known that words matter. Choosing them carefully is one of my favorite things to do. Then I had kids. More specifically, then I had kids and one of them grew into a toddler. And gosh, is it ever hard to say the right thing. Most of the wrong things I say get repeated back to me 15 times a day by a tiny mimic, as though to taunt me.

There are a few phrases parents often say, though, that can have lasting impacts. 'Be careful' and 'stop crying' are two of those phrases and we're going to deal with the latter today. Demanding your child stop crying, no matter how ridiculous the reason might be, invalidates their feelings and indirectly teaches them that their feelings of sadness or frustration or anger don't matter. And they do. And your child needs to know they matter. 
 
But of course, in the moment when your toddler is crying about the granola bar she asked you to open but you didn't open quite how she wanted, it's hard to think of something kind and compassionate to say. That's where this list comes in. Keep a few of these in your back pocket to offer when she's upset that can help validate her feelings and calm her down without telling her to stop crying.
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