Parents are the supporting pillars for their children. Their role is even more crucial during the growing up years of their children. Parents make children feel safe and loved. They look for help and guidance in their parents.
Often, what we say impact our children more than we think it does. Children tend to take everything at face value, and whatever their parents tell them is like the “Word of God”.
Listed below are some phrases which you should never use with your child, no matter how angry you are:
1. “Stop crying”
You should never stop your child from expressing his/her emotions. If they are not able to stop crying then you should not make them look like fools for doing so. If you say this, you are indirectly telling your child to repress their emotions.
A healthier approach is to allow them to cry their fill, but also make them understand if and what they did wrong.
2. “You disappointed me!”
Do not let your child think that s/he is a disappointment. This will haunt them for a long time since children really dislike letting down their parents. If they did something wrong then it is your duty to tell them. But do it in a gentle way, one which doesn’t affect them negatively.
3. “You are not good/studious/obedient etc. enough”
You should never tell your child that s/he lacks something whether inside or outside. It is deeply disturbing when a child starts believing that s/he is not what their parents want, or he is different from other kids. This belief can stay with him till adulthood and can affect him adversely.
You can tell your child that there is always room for improvement. You can build their confidence, and it will stay for life.
4. “Big boys/girls don’t get scared”
You can’t stop them from getting scared by telling them not to get scared. You can’t stop fear by such meaningless words. So you should tell them that it’s okay to get scared at times.
5. “You are a bad boy/girl”
You should never make your child feel that they are wholly bad. You should tell them about their mistakes and what they did was bad. Anyone can make mistakes, especially adults!
6. “I do everything for you”
Well, as children they expect you to do everything for them. You are responsible for them and should be able to provide for them. They are under your protection and guidance, not the other way round. You could foster a sense of responsibility in them but don’t expect them to become your right hand so soon.
7. “You’re fat/dark/ugly etc.”
Whatever or however your children are, ultimately they are your reflection.
It’s not their fault if they are dark or have more moles than other children. If your child is fat then they probably know it as chances are that they already suffer from name-calling/bullying at school or playgrounds.
Home is their safe place and you do not want to create a negative environment for them to feel unsafe. You are not supposed to inculcate body shaming thoughts in your child from such a tender age.
You can inspire them to eat healthy and make them exercise. Healthy body habits should be encouraged.
Parents should be careful of what they say to their children. Simply not-swearing in front of them isn’t the only thing they should look out for. Children look for love and acceptance from their parents. If they don’t receive it then they will grow up to be broken adults. Build their confidence and encourage them to do well.
The top 3 Parenting Books you must read:
- The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
- On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep
- What to Expect the First Year