III: Never make sarcastic remarks to a child much less say snide or ironic things meant to put them in their place. The worst parent (aside from a neglectful abuser) is a score-settling parent.
If you want your child to trust you they can’t be thinking you’ll put them down or make them the butt of a joke they don’t even understand. You’re not competing with them or trying to be the funniest person in the room.
It should never feel risky to be with a mother or father. You should be their safest place, not a standup comic picking on an audience member.
Be a smartass with other grownups if you must. Be serious and kind with your child.
(to be continued in this space tomorrow…)