12 Things No Parent Should EVER Say To Their Child
via Artur Aldyrkhanov/Unsplash
We want only the best for our little ones, but sometimes, (despite great intentions), we can make things way worse without realizing it. Today we look at common phrases you should take out of your vocabulary for dealing with your little one immediately. Without these sayings causing issues, you’ll be well on the way to a happier, healthier child- and a better relationship with them, too.
1)“That’s not right”//” Let ME show you
via Marisa Howenstine/Unsplash
We get it. You don’t like your little one struggling. But whether it’s taming your inner perfectionist (no, your kid’s project doesn’t have to be perfect) or so they don’t struggle and get upset, you’re doing them dirty. All they learn from this is that it’s too hard, they are too bad to do it, and adults need to rescue them.
2) What’s WRONG with you?
via Janko Ferlič/Unsplash
No, no, no. Of course, you could be compassionately asking your little one if they’re ok- but most of us use this in exasperation or condemnation. You are their world and the person they trust most. Don’t give them the lesson that they’re faulty and bad to internalize, please!
3) I don’t know how we’ll manage...
via Max Goncharov/Unsplash
Times are hard, we know. But a child is very powerless to affect the world around them. Laying burdens about finance and other harsh matters on their little shoulders will just make them anxious and desperate. Rather find a friend or a spouse to vent to
4) Always and never
via Marcos Paulo Prado/Unsplash
Think before you speak. We adults often tell kids things in absolutes- they’ll ‘always’ be bad at math and they’ll ‘never’ make it as a violinist. You’re setting your child up for a life in a box they may never get the confidence to leave- do you really want that for them?
5) Practice makes perfect
via Arwan Sutanto/Unsplash
Unlike some of the phrases we’ve mentioned, the intention here is good. You want to teach your child that you get better at things through hard work. Be careful how you use it, though. It can also lead to scenarios where kids who practice hard but don’t become ‘the best’ or ‘perfect’ feel that they are wrong and damaged in some way.
6) Get over it//You’re OK// You’re too sensitive
via Janko Ferlič/Unsplash
It’s OK to encourage a child to refocus on the good stuff, but don’t jump straight to this as an answer to every emotion. Instead, validate how they feel and help them work through it. Remember they are only young- just because something doesn’t seem important to you doesn’t mean they feel the same way
7) You can be anything you want
via Leo Rivas/Unsplash
This is another great sentiment that never-the-less needs some care in how you handle it. We as adults know that luck will always play a part in what we do, and sometimes we just don’t get the lucky break. It’s good to encourage your child to dream and reach for the stars, but temper it with the reality that no, we can’t really be anything we want, even if we work hard.
8) Leave me ALONE!
via Bekah Russom/Unsplash
Parenting is hard, and you’re just a human- but try to keep this one out of your vocabulary. We very quickly let it dominate our vocabularies, and repeated use just makes your kid stop telling you anything at all. After all, they get brushed off every time, right?
9) I do EVERYTHING for you!
via Alexander Dummer/Unsplash
No, you don’t. You’re probably a great parent, and yes, you deserve kudos for that- but not from your kid. Come on! If your life is unfulfilled, that’s not on your child, and not their burden to shoulder. Do you really want to leave your child feeling they can never feel anything but adulation for you because you’re so perfect? That they’re a mess because you annoyed them once? No, you can do better than that!
10) You did great….BUT….
via Ben White/Unsplash
What you’re doing here is erasing a positive sentiment with a negative one. The ‘but’, in fact, places the emphasis on the negative action. Everything that positive praise should have done will immediately be wiped out.
11) Don’t eat that you’ll get FAT! You’re FAT! I need to diet!
via Frank Mckenna/Unsplash
We all want our children to grow up healthy, especially if we’ve struggled with food. This isn’t the way to go about it, however. It’s a slippery slope to body dysmorphia and always feeling ‘bad’ for eating. Instead, focus on the benefits and joys of healthy eating. Be careful that you don’t turn that hate on yourself, either- to your child, you are perfect. Being hard on yourself teaches them to hate themselves, too, and also to denigrate people they love.
12) Why do I have to tell you this so many times?
via Myles Tan/Unsplash
Nagging doesn’t work. Kids (and everyone else) just tune you right out. Sorry parent, the failure is on you for this one. It’s time to rethink how you communicate with your child, and get to the root of why they’re not listening to you. Be prepared to accept you may well be the one at fault, too.
As many of these phrases show us, even when we mean the very best it can create the opposite effect in those we love. By turning some care and attention to how you communicate with your child, you can raise a happier, healthier child and improve your own life, too.