Every parent tends to react to children when they are angry or frustrated with words that truly do not help in the situation. Your child will get the wrong message and repeat the same mistakes again. Some of the things you should never say to your child include:
- “Let me help you” or “I’ll do it”:
If you want your child to be independent, be patient and do not interfere when your child is slow in finishing a task or chore. Instead, ask if your child needs help or just say “take your time, no hurry” to give your child confidence.
- “Look at your sister/brother/friend”:
Comparisons with any sibling or friends can make your child feel jealous and lowers their self-esteem. Instead, whenever possible, praise the uniqueness in your child, and give them strength by encouraging their good deeds.
- “Good girls/boys/children don’t cry”:
Allow your child to express their feelings, and not bottle them up. Realize that your child is probably hurt. Encourage them to speak up about the reason – anger, sadness, upset, hurt etc.
- “Don’t be afraid/scared”:
Your child will feel that there is something wrong in being afraid. Ask your child to speak about their fear, and reason with them whether it really is scary or not. If not, explain why. If there is cause for fear, tell your child there’s no reason to be ashamed of it.
Your child is observing every word and action of yours and will pick up such words easily and start using on their friends. Stick to words like “You are not behaving well” or “Being stubborn will not help” if you need to reprimand.
- “Because Mama/Papa says so”:
Whatever your expectation is, explain to your child the reason you want it to be done or why you are saying so.
- “I’m disappointed in you” or “I didn’t expect this from you”:
You can ask your child why something happened, or what could be done better. Explain that you didn’t expect it to happen, and therefore, it came as an unpleasant surprise to you.
- “If you don’t do <this>, you will get <that>”:
Blackmailing or bribing is only going to teach your child to do the same. Instead, focus on the positive aspect and be assertive when speaking to your child.
- “You’re fine” or “It’s alright” or “Don’t worry”:
For your child, even a small scrape is a big deal as it might hurt. Instead of brushing it away with such phrases, give the attention it demands and then move on
- “Shut up, or else…”:
“Shut up” is a very rude remark. Be the role model you want your child to be. So, politely request to be quiet instead of threatening.
Think on your feet before you speak to your child. Being candid and open to communication with your child is the best way forward.