Being a parent is difficult, every day presents a new challenge, and it’s easy to forget that the words we say to our children have a lasting impact. While it’s absolutely normal to feel frustrated and overwhelmed, it is important to be aware of the things that you should never say to your child. Doing so could have a lasting negative effect on their self-esteem and create an unhealthy parent-child relationship. After all, as parents we have the power to shape a child’s world with our words
Remember, it’s never too late to acknowledge our mistakes, learn how to parent better, and create habits that make an emotionally healthy family.
7 Things you should never say to your child:
1. ”Don’t be stupid”
”Don’t be stupid”, ”you’re so dumb”, ”you can never do anything right” will damage your child’s self-esteem. In fact, it might follow them into their adulthood. Instead, be your child’s biggest supporter.
2. ”You will never amount to anything”
One of the most damaging things you can say to your child is “you will never amount to anything”. This phrase implies your child is not capable or worthy of achieving success and can have a lasting effect on their self-esteem. It’s important to remember that your child is still learning and growing, and they may make mistakes along the way.
3. ”You’re driving me crazy!”
You are your child’s entire world. Phrases like ”you’re driving me crazy” and ”you’re driving me insane” will make them feel like they are an annoyance to you. Your children are less likely to approach you the next time they want to talk to someone. Instead, say: ”I need some time alone right now so I can calm down, can you please go play by yourself and we’ll talk in a bit”.
4. ”Stop crying right now!”
Yes, it might be annoying if this is the 19th time your child is crying today, however you telling them to stop it right here and now will only show them you’re not comfortable with this emotion and you don’t know how to deal with it. Growing up, they will continue crying, just most likely behind closed door, hiding from you.
5. ”What’s wrong with you?”
It will initially lead them into believing that something is really wrong with them. Use this phrase often enough and they’ll begin to think they are the problem, which can create shame within them. When your child does something inappropriate talk to them what she or he could have done instead. Remember, they haven’t been in this world for as long as you have and might struggle to make right decisions in certain situations. Even as adults, we make mistakes, it’s only situations that change, ”you live and your learn” as they say.
6. ”You’re being too sensitive”
No one wants to be told they are too sensitive. We all want our feelings validated whatever they might be. If you tell your child she is too sensitive, you’re letting her know that whatever she is feeling is not valid and she doesn’t have a right to those feelings. Children who grow up being told they are too sensitive, will often second guess other people’s actions and their emotions later on in life. They are more likely to accept abuse and blame themselves afterwards.
7. ”Look at your sister/brother”
Never compare your children. It will not make them behave more like their sibling, instead you’ll build jealousy between them by making one believe that the other one is better, smarter and more loved.