7 Things You Should Never Say to Your Child

There is a wise saying that goes, “ be careful with your words, once they are said they can only be forgiven, not forgotten”. As adults, we can testify to the truth of these statement. Once words are said, its hard to forget them, and for children its harder. It gives room for their minds to breed resentments towards you, which they can nurse for a long time and start exhibiting at a later age.

CNN has published an article that is very incisive and thoughtful on things or better still, “phrases” parents should not say to their children.

Leave me alone!

Every parent craves some quiet time. However, when you frequently tell your child, “leave me alone” or “I’m busy”, they soon begin to internalize this and would sooner or later stop trying to talk to you, because their mind predicts that you will be busy or want them to leave you alone.

Don’t cry

Repeating this to your child, can pass across the message that your child’s emotions aren’t valid or important. Remember, toddlers cry a lot, because they can’t articulate their feelings. Try to empathize with your child, instead of getting irritated when they cry or whine, acknowledge their feelings with them, sometimes be sad with them, with time, they will learn to explain their feelings instead of cry them out.

Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?

This is probably the biggest mistake you can make. Every child, even the worst behaved ones, wants to be made to feel special. Comparison between siblings, or children of the same age, will only breed envy between them and resentment towards you.

I will spank you hard

It is necessary and important to discipline children. But then again effective discipline depends on how it is executed.

Threats are usually the result of parental frustration and they are rarely effective. ‘Studies have shown that the odds of a two-year-old’s repeating a misdeed later in the same day are eighty percent no matter what sort of discipline you use,” says Murray Straus, Ph.D. and sociologist at the University of New Hampshire‘s Family Research Lab. Instead of  threats, use tactics such as redirection, removing the child from the situation, or time-outs.

Wait till daddy gets home

To be an effective parent, you need to take care of a situation immediately yourself, bearing in mind that this implies a lot about your authority. Waiting for the other parent to be home before delivering a punishment not only undermines your own authority, but chances are your child might have already forgotten what the offense was and a delayed punishment will have no effect at all. Your child might also just stop listening to you because you never prove to be able to handle situations on your own.

Hurry up

This might seem harmless enough, especially when you are trying to get to church early or trying to get to work on time. In the midst of your noble intentions, do you stop to consider the tone of your voice, when you urge your toddler to hurry up? Bear in mind that the more you hurry your kids up, instead of helping and supervising them to be ready, you run the risk of making them feel guilty for making you or everyone late, which will not even help them get ready any faster.

Good Girl/Good Boy

There is nothing wrong with praising your child, especially when they have done something deserving of praise. As tricky as parenting is, one must remember that dishing out praise to a child all the time devalues the meaning of the compliments. Praise the behavior rather than the child, be specific when hailing your child and only praise those accomplishments that require real effort.

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“7 Things You Should Never Say to Your Child”

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