Dionna over at Code Name: Mama posted about the phrase choosing your battles today. I think its an insightful post and you should check it out.
One thing I thought was particularly interesting was the insight from Mandy from Living Peacefully with Children about the allegory of war in reference to parenting and the message using terms like "fighting" and "battles" sends. It reminds me of a spontaneous discussion that sprung up recently on a message board about the term "spare the rod." Long story short, it was argued that the rod didn't necessarily mean corporal punishment. Dr. Sears himself gets on on this action in his article on spanking. I'm not sure I agree that this phrase is harmless or misunderstood. How do you interpret it? Words hold a lot of meaning and we often throw them around carelessly oblivious to how they affect others. The Mom who complains about her kids to a friend struggling with infertility. The woman calling herself fat to a friend with an eating disorder. The parent joking about his "brat" of a kid. They're just words to the speaker.
So choose your words carefully. Your words affect others, especially your children.