Accept it! Sometimes even we as parents (adults) can inadvertently say a few wrong, damaging and terrible things to our kids without giving in much thought. But you may be surprised to hear that these seemingly harmless phrases are capable of triggering lifelong resentment, punching their self-esteem or evoking some less-than-desirable sentiments in them. Here, is a collection of those 9 verbal parenting mistakes, things you should never (ever) say to your kids.
“Be a Man”
It is important for kids to learn to express their emotions. Statements like these would encourage them to conceal their emotions and eventually they would turn into emotionally unavailable zombies. So, this is what parents should not say. Allow them to shed tears, laugh their hearts out and just be kids.
“I’m on a diet”
Kids have an impressionable mind and tend to pickup and imitate whatever they see around them. So, if you tell your tiny tots that you are not happy by the way you look, they’ll start feeling the same way about themselves too. So, you can try every single diet there is on the planet, but don’t ever tell your kids about it.
“I hope someday you end up with a child just like you”
Bringing up children can become painful sometimes. It might sound like a clever way to express it, but all you’re telling your kid is that the experience of raising them is so miserable, that you wish that someday even they land up with the same fate. This kind of parenting mistake can harm his personality more than you can imagine.
“Your mum/pop is an idiot”
Demeaning your spouse in presence of your kids, will only encourage them to repeat the same. It sends them a message that it is OK to talk about the family like that. So, never do it in front of your kids.
Nobody likes to be told to shut up, even your kids don’t. So, if you say it enough to your kids, eventually they’ll start saying it too.
“Why can’t you be like your sister/ brother?”
This classic comparative phrase only creates feeling of inadequacy in your kids and can drive a wedge between the siblings. Remember all kids are born with different sets of talents and skills, comparing them to their siblings or friends would only hamper their progress.
“Urghhh… Why can’t you do anything right?”
Kids learn through trial and error, so it is quite possible for them to mess things up when they do it the first time. Be patient and don’t ever say this to them as this’ll make them afraid of trying and experimenting with new things.
“Bad Girl/ Boy”
By saying this you might be hoping that your kid stops acting up, but what you are actually doing is reinforcing the idea that they are bad. So, pick a more optimistic way of saying the same, like you may say “Right now, you are not acting up like the good boy/ girl that I know you are”.
“You can do much better”
Uttering the above mentioned sentence would only make them feel that their efforts are never enough. They would have a tendency to keep things to themselves and feel like they are never good enough, which might lead to depression and other problems. So, pick a better alternative to encourage your kids to excel.
Take a moment, think of the effect that your uttered words will have on your child and his/ her future. As a parenting advice from ITM Lab, do avoid saying phrases that might evoke negative emotions in your toddlers.