Parenting tips: 5 things you should never say to your child
Check out some of the top things you should avoid saying to your child to ensure you're setting them up for a happy and healthy future.
When it comes to parenting, the power of our words cannot be underestimated. Our choice of words can either uplift and inspire our children or leave them feeling hurt and discouraged. As parents, our words are powerful. They have the ability to either build our children up or tear them down. Our language can be used to connect or push our kids away. Therefore, it's important to choose our words carefully and avoid saying things that could be hurtful or damaging to our children's self-esteem. In this regard, there are certain phrases or statements that we should avoid saying to our children at all costs. These phrases can be harmful and could potentially cause long-lasting emotional damage. (Also read: Questions to ask yourself to improve your parenting: Therapist shares tips )
Dr. Jazmine, Psychologist and Parenting Expert, suggested the top things that parents or caregivers should never say to their child, in her recent Instagram post.
1. "You're making me angry!
When it comes to sharing your feelings with your child, it's best to take responsibility vs blaming them for how you feel. Sure their actions influence your thoughts and feelings but your child is not to blame. When we blame others for how we feel we immediately give our power away and increase disconnection and defensiveness.
Instead of saying, "You're making me angry", try saying something like, "We're having a hard moment right now. 'm noticing that I'm starting to feel angry right now. It's my job to calm my body down..." Modelling how to label emotions and the ways you manage your feelings teaches emotional regulation and builds trust.
2. "You're dumb"
The ways in which we speak to our kids become their inner voice. If we tell them that they're stupid, they will believe us. In the heat of the moment, choose your words very carefully. Children don't forget the things we say out of anger.
3. "Why can't you be more like your brother/sister?!"
We might say these things in an effort to motivate our child to make different choices but drawing comparisons between siblings only fuel sibling rivalry and low self-esteem. Children begin to make better choices when they feel better about themselves and their position in the family.
4. "Stop talking to me! Go away!"
It's common to shut down and want everyone to leave you alone when you feel overwhelmed with parenting. However, take responsibility for taking space rather than forcing your child away. This sounds like, "I'm feeling overwhelmed right now and need space. I'm going to go grab some water. I'll be back." And then take time to debrief after everyone has cooled off.
5. "Why are you being so difficult? What's wrong with you?"
When your child's behaviour starts to overwhelm you, take a step back and focus on problem-solving. Instead of asking them a question that puts them down, ask, "How can we work together? What do we need to do to solve this problem?"
If you as the parent are not taking steps to actively address the problem, you have become a part of the problem. Try to focus your energy on problem-solving rather than blaming and criticizing.