Psychologists Warn: Never Use These 5 Phrases When Talking To Your Child
The truth is that we are all human and every human being makes mistakes. However, to a child’s mind its parents are something a lot more than just a human.
They are its creators, caretakers, guardians, and they have lived here before it was even born. They are the only thing which is familiar to us in the midst of this vast unknown. This is the reason why what parents do and how they behave becomes a crucial part of the psyche of their children.
When they are angry most of the time they speak to us, when they are harsh and cold and if they shout and yell every time we do something wrong, that’s how we will deal with ourselves whenever we make a mistake. But, as we already said, we are all human beings and we all make mistakes, and that is ok. The way you approach to the mistakes is how you will learn and overcome them.
You should never use the following 5 phrases when you are talking to your child:
1. “You are worthless!”
This is probably the worst thing that can be said to a child, especially when you are the person and the mental figure they expect most of to be given approval of. When you say this, you will put your child on a never-ending journey to seek approval from the outside world. Instead of helping them to find their own worth inside, you will let them believe they have nothing inside them to be found.
Instead of this phrase, there are a lot of other things which can be said, such as: “You can do better!”, “Nobody is perfect.”, “It’s not your day, and you’ll do better next time.”
2. “Stop crying right now!”
Usually, when a kid does something it knows will be punished for, they start crying immediately. But, even though there is no reason for crying, that is their personal emotion. They have all the right in the world to express their feelings every time. By saying this phrase to your child, you are slowly programming it to suppress its emotions.
Instead of that, you can say: “It’s ok to cry sweaty, it’s ok to show how you feel. But that doesn’t make what you did a right thing to do.”You can also hug them and explain why the thing they did is wrong.
3. “I’m disappointed in you!”
Some parents usually say this to their children when they already feel bad. Trying to make your kids responsible for your disappointment is something really selfish. You can be disappointed in a friend, movie, or even your country’s politics, but you can’t actually be disappointed in your child. You are there as their parent to let them on a right path. So, when your kid does something wrong, you should guide it back. Your disappointment is in your guidance, not your child. You should teach your child what they did is wrong and why.
Instead of this phrase, you can tell your kid: “What you did is wrong, in my opinion. And I believe you made an honest mistake. Even if you chose to do what you did, I can assure you’ll realize it’s wrong after I explain. I know you can do better!”
4. “You are not (something) enough!
When you say this to your child, you are showing them a pretty restricted image of themselves. You are implying that there is something they are lacking in order for them to do what they love or be who they want to be. Even when you are not saying that they are not enough, you are programming their mindset that way. They are enough to be themselves and they always are. A tree is enough to be a tree itself, even when it is only a seed. But, it also has to grow in order to become what it is.
Instead of this phrase, you can say to your child: “You are enough to be or do what you love. But sometimes we all need to train or practice something before, in order to grow that way.”
5. “Big boys/girls don’t get scared!”
First of all, you are lying to your kid by saying this, as you are probably more frightened than they are throughout your day. Second, you force them to reject what they are honestly feeling. Fear is not a bad thing, as every human being can get scared from something and it only reminds us when to be careful. You should not run away from fear, but you should face it, be aware and learn from it. And real courage does not mean being fearless, but facing the fear even when you are terrified.
Instead of this phrase, you can say to your kid: “It’s ok to be scared, buddy. All of us are scared sometimes. But I know there is courage inside of you that will help you do the right thing even if you are scared. You are my little hero!”
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