Last edition, we considered words that mean something other than what people think. ‘Irregardless’ was our favourite non-existent word so before we give a new list, note again that ‘irregardless’ is not a word. Microsoft Word just flagged it; that’s enough proof.

The words in this list are adjectives; this means that they are used to describe nouns- such as you and me. However, these words must never describe you or your children. You will see why.

1.    Narcissistic: This word originated with ‘Narcissus’ in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image. It takes ‘selfish’ to a whole new level. It is defined as “excessive love or admiration for oneself.”

In fact, there is a mental disorder that has ‘narcissism’ as its root word. It is one thing to have a healthy self-esteem, but another thing entirely to be narcissistic. The media has tagged today’s teens as being narcissistic, calling them the ‘selfie generation’. Be true to yourself but never become narcissistic.

Synonyms: conceited, self-absorbed, selfish, and hollow.

2.    Maladroit: It has nothing to do with malaria. To be maladroit means to be “tactless and insensitive in behaviour or speech” or to be “lacking grace or skill.” A word that should describe you is ‘graceful’. Not only should you make this your identity, you should also teach it to your children.

Synonyms: Unskilful, Inept, uncouth, and unpolished.

3.    Vacillatory: The origin of this word is ‘vacillate’, which means to waver and swing indecisively”. There are too many people out there living according to public opinion. They can’t take a personal decision and stand by it. You know why this word must not describe you? Because it makes you vulnerable to everyone from salesmen who will sell you what you don’t need to witty kids who know that you won’t follow through with disciplining them when you say you will. This isn’t good for you; it isn’t good for your child. Make well-informed, well thought through decisions and stand by them.

Synonyms: Indecisive, lily-livered, spineless, and irresolute.

4.    Crabby: You have met people like this. When a person is always in a bad mood, they are crabby. If the only time your children hear your voice is when you are shouting at them, you may be are crabby! Instead of being crabby, be sweet-natured, easy-going and charming.

Synonyms: irritable, ill-tempered, acidic, churlish, cantankerous and cranky…many bad ‘c’ words!

There you have it. There are other words that should not describe you such as pusillanimous aggressive, pessimistic and so on. Why don’t you make up your own list and get rid of the negative stuff you don’t want. When people comment on your improved vocabulary-and character, you can thank us.

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SchoolTips & More Magazine is a bi-monthly parenting and educational publication by Edumark Consult. The magazine feaures interesting articles and interviews on parenting and education with a view to enhancing the total development of a child.

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