Saying “be careful” all the time can confuse kids, instill fear, and lower their self-confidence.

If you’ve ever watched your not-so-sure-footed kids ascend a tall—very tall—rope climbing structure at the playground, or hoist themselves atop a large, wobbly log in the woods, or attempt the monkey bars alone for the first time (at breakneck speed), you may have felt the urge to call out, “Be careful!” And why? Because arms do get broken at playgrounds and no one wants a trip to the ER. And, likely, because you heard it a lot when you were growing up.