10 critical things to Never tell your children
It’s no secret that children learn by copying the example of adults.
They imitate the way their parents and siblings act, the words they say, and even the bad habits they have.
However, many parents aren’t fully aware of how a child’s brain actually works. They underestimate their great impact on their kids’ lives. What’s more, a lot of adults don’t pay attention to what their children hear or see, and still use slang words, cursing, and verbally abusе one another in front of their toddlers.
If you want your child to grow in a loving, empathetic, and healthy environment, you need to be careful what you say in its presence.
Here are 10 things you should never tell your kids.
1. “You’re so much better than…”
Even if your kid is excelling at everything they do, you should be extremely careful with the way you’re congratulating them. Telling them they are way better than someone else might put them under a lot of pressure to continue proving themselves to you. This pressure often leads to mental issues such as anxiety. It may even provoke severe self-doubt in your child’s mind. Instead, try to voice your approval without overpressuring your kid. Encourage them to keep going, without expecting them to always perform at their best.
2. “I’m sure you did your best.”
This is another sensitive thing you should avoid telling your kids. If they didn’t really do their best, hearing this might make them believe that being mediocre is perfectly fine. And when they see you’re okay with them being average, they may even stop trying to become better at what they’re doing. Make sure you motivate your children to work hard for their goals.
3. “I know you didn’t mean that.”
Don’t say this to your children, unless you’re absolutely sure they didn’t mean what they did. If you underestimate them, they might think they can get away with everything. You need to teach them what’s right, what’s wrong, and how to take responsibility for their actions.
4. “You’re so clumsy.”
Clumsiness, shyness, and even laziness are arguably personality traits that can be quite difficult to overcome. When you’re emphasizing them and criticizing your children, you’re only teaching them how to bottle up their emotions. Sooner or later, you will realize they stopped sharing with you or even talking to you because they are afraid you might point their insecurities out once more. Instead of criticizing them from the very beginning, try to understand why they have been behaving a certain way. Be more empathetic.
5. “Let me help you.”
Understandably, it can be challenging to see your kids struggling with something that looks like an easy task for you. However, if you don’t let them do things by themselves and you always offer to help them, they wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn. You should avoid doing everything for them, or else, they would expect yours or someone else’s help their whole lives. This way, in situations, when they are left alone, your children wouldn’t be able to rely on themselves. No matter how much you love them, and how much it hurts to see them struggle, don’t take their independence away from them.
6. “Hurry up!”
Aggressively telling a child to hurry up, or to lose no time, might cause severe stress disorders. For you, this may be a harmless thing to say. As adults, we are used to be in a rush, but with children, you need to be more sensitive. Rather than getting upset with your kid, turn your frustration into a game. For instance, instead of telling them to hurry up, tell them playfully: “Bet I can get to the car faster than you!”
7. “I look so awful today.”
Even when you don’t look your best, and you feel like everything you do is just a big stupid mess, you should never undermine yourself in front of your kids. They shouldn’t see their parents use the concept of self-image in such a negative way, and witness you judging yourself, or someone else over physical appearance, or intellectual abilities. If they do, they might implement this behavioral pattern into their lives, and start being hard on themselves and other people around them.
8. “Don’t ever talk to strangers!”
Of course, your kids should avoid talking to strangers on the street, or to open the door to people they have never met before. But be careful how you tell them not to talk to strangers, or what sounds like good advice might backfire. Instead of telling them forthwith to never talk to people they don’t know, explain to them why this is bad. Tell them about the dangers a stranger might cause. But don’t make it sound like something you’re forbidding them to do. They might take it as a challenge, and do exactly the opposite of what you’re demanding.
9. “Pay attention!”
Too many parents tell their children it’s important to always pay attention, but they don’t really teach them how to do it. It’s no bed of roses to learn how to keep your mind concentrated all the time. Undoubtedly, even as an adult, you often find yourself distracted and not fully focused on your work. So don’t be so hard on your kids. Teach them why it is so important to pay attention, and how would this help them grow as people further in life.
10. “If you don’t stop… I’ll turn this car around!”
This is mainly used when children are misbehaving in the car. But does threatening your kids like that actually work? Maybe, if they’re really excited about going somewhere, they might listen to you and stop behaving in such a bad manner. Otherwise, if you overuse this sentence, they might not believe you and undermine your power as a parent. So it’s better for you to avoid threatening your children. The best thing you could do is to attempt to understand why they are behaving a certain way. The root of the problem might be hiding much deeper.
For you, as a parent, it’s important to understand that a nurturing and interactive environment is vital for your children’s emotional development.
What’s more, you play the primary role in their growth. In your children’s eyes, you are a superhero, a best friend, and a shoulder to cry on. They look up to you, and their fragile minds believe everything you do and say is good. That’s why you need to be a great example for them, so they can grow strong-willed, emotionally-stable, and socially-aware of the environment they’re inhabiting.