Words can be extremely damaging, and what may seem like an offhanded remark to our children in an annoying moment can cause serious emotional repercussions for children down the line. Children can often push even “a Saint” to their breaking point.
Below are the 10 things I believe parents should NEVER say or do to their children if they want to ensure their children grow up as healthy, happy, balanced, self-reliant, self-confident, and self-loving as possible:
(1) You don’t know what you’re talking about:
Don’t make them feel little or stupid for sharing or voicing out their ideas that may not be fully “baked” or reasonable yet.
(2) You can’t do that:
A parent number one role is to motivate your child to do more than they can even imagine. People end up doing utterly astounding and amazing things they were once told were impossible.
(3) You’re too young to know what you want:
As humans, we know and perceive things very accurately and deeply even at a very young age. We do know what we think, feel and want.
(4) Why aren’t you more like your brother/sister?:
If you’ve had siblings, you probably know exactly what it feels like to be compared to your brother or sister. It’s bad all the way around.
(5) You should be ashamed of yourself:
There are so many other ways to communicate that your child needs to revise his/her behaviour – shaming is not the way to go.
(6) You are driving me crazy:
Most times we tend to allow our children control our emotions. The truth is that, we are the ones who are ultimately responsible for how we feel. Rather than saying you are making me mad right now, consider words like “I need a break right now because I am getting upset” or “I am angry right now”.
(7) You should listen to adults:
This is one wrong statement we need to get rid of. The truth is that no one is infallible and being an adult doesn’t make you all right all the time.
(8) Why didn’t you get an A?:
I am very guilty of this as an African Mama. It is very okay to motivate your child to do more and stretch them to reach their full potentials.
(9) You are smart:
I made this mistake with my younger son, now he goes about saying how smart he is and because he is so smart, he doesn’t think he should do any more practice sheets.
(10) Don’t argue with me/Because I said so:
My-way-or-the-highway approach cannot work with the 21st Century child. This authoritative way makes children feel like their opinions don’t matter and doesn’t allow them to express their thoughts or concerns