The way you behave in front of your children determines their behavior in the outside world. They are like a mirror which reflects your words or actions. If your child does something that is not worth appreciating or unjustified, there is no point in telling them things that will hurt them. A child’s psychology works in mysterious ways and their innocent hearts tend to believe everything you say whether good or bad. Here is a list of 7 things you should never say to your kids:
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Why can’t you be more like your siblings/friends
It is very natural for you to compare your child to his siblings and friends but you should keep the comparison to yourself. When you ask your child to be like somebody else, be that his friends or siblings, he feels unwanted and unaccepted by you. Kids are very gullible and each and every word that comes from your mouth will affect them either positively or negatively. When your child fears parental rejection, he can do anything to save himself from it. He might avoid you because his impulsive little mind will tell him that you don’t love him and he might develop a silent jealous rivalry with his friends/siblings. He will compete against them in his head trying to be better than them at every opportunity and that is never going to help him to develop friendly relations with anyone. He might even start considering them as threats and do everything possible to distract your attention from them.
I curse the day you were born
Nothing can make your child feel unwanted like this sentence. You might have said it in a fit of anger to show your child how his actions or words disappointed you but the long term implications of such sentences can be really strong. If you want to tell your child how disappointed you feel, then just tell him that he has disappointed you. Such dramatic statements can make the child feel that you, being his parent regret his very existence so it’s better to avoid such histrionics altogether.
You are just like your father /mother
This can be a very loving thing to say to your child when you say it with love but avoid saying such things with anger or sarcasm. You might intend to say this with respect to a certain habit the other parent has but your child may think that you consider him to be as incompetent as his mother/father. Every word you say to your child will last long in his subconscious mind and he can interpret it in any way possible. If you want to say such things to your child, be very careful when you choose your words. After all, words are the most deadly weapons humans have ever had.
Why can’t you be a normal child
Just like the first sentence, this one also suggests comparison. Not only will your child consider the other kids as a threat because his mind will tell him that you prefer them to him but he will also feel that he is different from the ‘normal’ kids. If your child has shown any abnormal behavior, if he is very destructive or if he has far more energy than the other children, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of saying hurtful things to them, try channeling his energy towards something more positive like developing a talent or encouraging him to find a hobby and chances are, he will be better at it than the others.
You embarrass me
This is one sentence that can make your child feel unaccepted on a different level altogether. This can make him feel socially unaccepted which is a completely different ballgame. Making him feel socially rejected can harm his growth and make him an introvert constantly dealing with the fear of rejection.
I will lock you in a dark room
You might have said it to scare him so the he doesn’t do or say something bad but this fear has the tendency to last a lifetime. I have a friend who is in his mid 20s and he still gets scared whenever the lights go off. He says that it brings back his childhood memories where his parents would lock him into a dark room in order to make him fear them and not repeat his mistakes. Don’t try to control your child with fear. Try love and compassion instead. If he does something wrong, talk to him about it and tell him how it made you feel.
You can never be good at anything
If you want your child to be good at anything at all, don’t say such things to him. When you tell your child that he is incapable of excelling at something, he will believe that in his subconscious mind and irrespective of how hard he tries to be good at something, he might not succeed. Encouraging your child and telling him he can do a great job when he feels low might be a long shot but then again, his chances of succeeding will improve for sure. Show some faith in your child. After all, a little faith goes a long way.