W E B Du Bois, a famous author, once said, “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”
The most important aspect of parenting is talking to your child, as the words you say shape your child’s personality. Sometimes parents say things they don’t mean and may repent them, but once the words are uttered, the damage is done for good. Here are 10 things parents should never say to their children. Read on.
1. You’re a Bad Boy/Girl
Feeding children with negative thoughts kills their self-esteem. If they have done something wrong, it’s advisable to explain to them that their words or actions could harm or hurt someone instead of calling them a bad boy/girl, which only puts them down in their own eyes without giving any learning. In fact, positive comments can boost their self-esteem and chances are that they won’t do anything to let you down.
2. He/She is Better Than You
Comparison between two children or even siblings will give rise to unhealthy rivalry between them. It also makes children feel inferior and this can have serious repercussions on their behaviour. In the case of siblings, parents should appreciate both equally and also correct children for their wrongdoings.
3. Don’t Talk to Me
Banning communication between you and your kids will repel them. Allow them to question and share their opinions, as this will open a channel of communication between you and your family. Listen to their opinions and try to convince them. If they don’t buy your point, instead of arguing, have a conversation. This will give you a chance to bargain or win the argument.
4. A Straight 'No'
Saying ‘no’ is harsh. If you don’t approve of your children’s actions, try giving them options or refuse the wrong behaviour by justifying your stand. This will help children understand the consequences of their actions better. Restrictions will only destroy your child’s confidence.
5. Leave Me Alone
Saying this will make your children feel left out and unwanted. You have to be patient with your children and teach them to give you space when you need it.
6. Don’t Cry
When kids are upset, they cry because they haven’t learnt to articulate their feelings with words. But telling them not to cry sends the wrong message. You need to teach children to use their emotions the right way. It is important to encourage kids to express their emotions and recognise their feelings.
7. You Can’t Do This
There are times when kids try to do something they can’t. For example, if a child tries to lift a heavy chair, instead of saying ‘you can’t do it’, you should offer to help. This way, kids will learn through trial and error and they won’t be afraid to try something new, even if it is challenging.
8. Girls/Boys Don’t Do That
Creating gender-biased rules is completely wrong. A child is a child so let him/her be. Don’t stop kids from exploring things they may be curious about. Kitchen sets and dolls don’t have to always be for girls. Confining curiosity to social norms will only create a gender bias in their minds.
9. Wait Till Mom/Dad Gets Home
This parenting cliché is not only a threat, but a weak discipline that is not at all effective in the long run. It instils anxiety and fear in the child. It’s better to solve the issue at the moment and not carry it forward or threaten the child. Prolonging the issue also undermines your authority. Handle the situation responsibly and let your child take ownership of his/her mistakes.
10. If You Do This, You Will Get Rewarded
Bribing your child to listen to you will alter the child’s behaviour and he/she will definitely listen to you. But his/her behaviour will be gift-oriented. This will ensure that your child is obedient only if you are offering a reward.
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