All humans make mistakes; that’s the universal truth. However, parents are sometimes something a LOT more than just human to a child’s mind. They think that they are its caretakers, creators, and guardians. They are the only thing a child is familiar with in the midst of the unknown. That’s why is very crucial part of a child’s psyche what their parents do and how they behave before them.
Parents, when angry, speak to a child most of the time in a harsh and cold manner and even shout and yell whenever they did something wrong. That’s how they deal with parents most of the time. But as we said, our parents are also human and they also make mistakes and that’s ok. As a parent, the way you approach these mistakes is how you overcome and learn from them.
THESE ARE THE PHRASES YOU SHOULD NEVER USE WHEN TALKING TO YOUR CHILD:
1. “YOU ARE WORTHLESS!”
These are the words that are possibly the worst thing you could say to a child especially if you are the person and the mental figure that they expect most of to be given approval of. If you say this, it’s just like you are putting your child on a never-ending cycle to seek approval from the outside world. Instead of telling them to find their own worth inside, you are letting them see that they have nothing to find inside themselves.
One of the many things you can say instead is: “you can do better!”, “Nobody is perfect”, or “it’s not your day buddy, I’m sure you’ll do better next time”
2. “STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW!”
Usually, when a child does something that he knows he’ll be punished, they tend to start crying even though there’s no reason for them to cry because that is how they really feel. That’s their emotion and they have all the right in the world to express how they feel. By telling them to stop crying right at the moment, you are slowly programming your child to suppress their real emotions.
You can say this instead: “It's ok to cry darling, it’s ok to show how you feel but remember, that doesn’t make what you did a right thing to do.” Then hug them and explain why is it wrong what they did.
3. “I AM DISAPPOINTED IN YOU!”
Parents, when they already feel bad, usually say these words to their children. Trying to make them responsible for your failures is simply selfish. You can be disappointed in a lot of things like your friend, on your country’s politics or even in a movie, but you should not be disappointed in your child. You are the ones to set them on the right path and when they do something wrong, guide them back. Teach your child what they did is wrong and tell them why.
Tell them this instead: “in my opinion, what you did is wrong and I believe you made an honest mistake. But even if you chose to do what you did, I’m sure you’ll realize that it’s wrong after I explain it to you. I know you can do better.”
4. “YOU ARE NOT [SOMETHING] ENOUGH!”
Saying these words to your child is like showing them a restricted image of themselves. It implies that there is something lacking in themselves to do something that they love or want to be. Even though you don’t really mean to say that they are not enough, you are programming their mindset that way. A child is always enough to be themselves, they always are. It’s like a tree that is enough to be a tree even when it was only a seed. But is needs guidance to grow in order to become what it really is.
Say this to your kid instead: “you are enough to be or do what you really love. But sometimes, you need to practice or train something before, in order to grow that way.”
5. “BIG BOYS/GIRLS DON’T GET SCARED!”
Saying these words to your kid is also not a good idea. The point is, why are you lying to your child? All through the day, you may be more frightened than you child in other matters. Another thing is, you are forcing them to reject what they really feel. Fear is normally felt and it’s not a bad thing. It reminds us when to be careful. You don’t have to run away from fear but face it, learn from it, and be aware. Real courage is not being fearless, it is facing your fear even when you are terrified is.
You can this to your kid instead: “It’s ok to be frightened, buddy. All of us become scared sometimes but I know there is courage inside of you that will make you do the right thing even when you are scared. You’re my little hero.”