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Well Said

Betsy’s Favorite Expressions and Phrases

With over 40 years of experience working with parents and children, in education, and a best selling book to boot, it is no surprise that child development and behavioral specialist, Betsy Brown Braun, has developed some favorite expressions when talking to parents about parenting and their kids.

Below you will find a list of the expressions and phrases that Betsy is known for using in her  parenting groups, seminars, presentations, and  consultations.

  • You are who you are when not one is looking
  • What goes in their ears goes out their mouths
  • All behavior is motivated.
  • There is no such thing as perfect.
  • Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child.
  • You are only as happy as your least happy child.
  • The surest way to make life hard for your child is to make it too easy.
  • The best things in life aren’t things.
  • Hurt people, hurt people.
  • Children are the only ones who can grow their brains.
  • The fundamental job of a toddler is to rule the universe.
  • Children do not get better if they are not uncomfortable.
  • “No device or screen can match the HD quality of the actual world” (Louis CK)
  • “A child who has not been bandaged has not been well parented” (Dr. Benjamin Spock)
  • “Be quick but don’t hurry.”  (John Wooden)
  • “A parent’s full attention is a form of love” (Daniel Goleman)
  • The best time to start talking to your child about money is when he will no longer eat it. 
  • One yes will sustain your child through a thousand no’s.
  • You choose the behavior, you choose the consequence.
  • Do I look like the kind of mommy who is going to change her mind?
  • “Do not lose site of the fact that the most important door that a child walks through for his education is the front door.” (Rahm Emanuel.)
  • “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they never fail to imitate them.” (James Baldwin.)
  • If a child feels right, he acts right.”  (Haim Ginott)
  • Wisdom is learning what to overlook.
  • Biology is not destiny.
  • “When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”  (Nora Ephron)
    EXPRESSIONS/LABELS TO KEEP IN MIND:
  • The terrific twos;
    the theatrical threes;
    the f-#&%*ing fours;
    the fabulous fives;
    the satanic sixes;
    the sour sevens;
    the elated eights.
  • Learned deafness (The affliction that grows in children of parents who talk too much). 
  • Reuterate (What the child who is so extremely attached to his mommy wants to do–climb back in!)
  • Praise addiction (The affliction of children who have been told ”good job” too much). 
  • Verbal doggie biscuits (The automatic expression of praise carelessly tossed out to a child – “good job”). 
  • Blah Blah Blah, Ginger (A reference to parents who talk too much). 
  • Affluenza (The illness that accompanies over-privilege). 
  • The rotating pill position (The position held by the child in the family who is needing the most attention at that time. Among siblings, they take turns and no two children seem to be pills at the same time. It rotates.). 
  • Lousy local conditions (When the environment sabotages a person’s ability to be his best self – too tired, too hungry, too many errands – or when the expectations are inappropriate to the child – asking a two year old to be quiet in the library).