Parenting is not an easy job. The most important and difficult part of parenting is learning to talk to your child.
Remember that children take everything literally and the way you talk to them goes a long way in building their personality. As a parent who wants the best for them, sometimes we say things that we don’t really mean.
Read on to know the 10 things parents and grandparents should never tell their kids:
1. ‘You are a bad boy/girl’
Never feed negative thoughts in your children, it kills their self-esteem. Kids are innocent and believe in goodness. Always tell them to be good, happy, and positive. Explain them that some words or actions are bad as they may hurt or harm somebody. But don’t tell them that it makes them a bad boy/girl. In fact, give them a positive comment like “you are the best/cutest/brightest child in the world,” it will boost their self-esteem. Chances are that they would never want to let you down. Teach them what is right and wrong, and to value good things over bad.
2. A straight ‘NO’
A straight ‘no’ is too harsh for your little prince/princess. If kids hear ‘no’ all the time, they lose confidence and faith in their parents. If you don’t approve of your children action, try giving them options. For example, instead of saying “No shouting,” try “Talk softly, please.” Instead of “Don’t play in the house,” tell them “Why don’t you call your friends to the park and play.”
3. ‘Don’t talk to me’
Never ban the channel of communication between you and your children. Never tell them to stop talking or arguing. Let them question and share their opinion freely. Rather talk to them, if you want them to stick to your advice. Tell them what they are supposed to do and why it’s important. Convince them with your words, tone, and expressions. Yes, keep talking and listening till they buy your point. When my child doesn’t buy my point, instead of asking him not to argue, I make a sad face and say ‘Okay, do whatever you like, but I am upset.’ This may start the conversation again and you have a chance to bargain or win the argument. Try arriving on a win-win situation.
4. ‘Why can’t you be like your brother/sister?’
Never compare your children with their brother/sister. It makes them jealous. They will feel left out. It drives feeling of failure in your kids and dislike between siblings.
5. ‘You can’t do this!’
Never shake your kids’ self-confidence. There will be times when they would want to do something, but you know they won’t be able to do. Just remember to give them a chance as long as it doesn’t harm them. When my son thinks he can lift a heavy chair, instead of ‘you can’t do it,’ I tell him, ‘Try if you can do it or I will help you,’ or ‘You might hurt yourself in this attempt so let me do it for you.’ The best alternative, however, is ‘Let’s do it together!’ Kids learn through trial and error. However they’ll never try anything new, if you’ve made them afraid to try.
6. ‘Let Daddy come and I will tell…’
This common mistake by parents is a double whammy. It instils anxiety and fear in your child—especially of the person who you’re going to tell about whatever happened—and it shows you’re incapable of handling your children or the issue. Also, don’t make it an everyday threat. There are things your kid may do unintentionally, or irresponsibly. You may want to tell your spouse about it. Ask your kids, “Do you want to tell dad, or should I explain it to him and give the reason?” Let your children take ownership of their mistakes and their actions, but do it respectfully.
7. ‘No one wants kids like you’
A ‘problem child’ doesn’t exist by its own, right? We are the ones to blame if kids become problematic. They are a reflection of parents. They have learned everything from parents, family, friends, and surroundings. So if you think your children aren’t behaving properly, remember they didn’t choose to be in the world that surrounds them. You chose that world for them!