The words that our parents say to us greatly impact how we feel about the world, and ourselves. If you have children or are thinking about having children, there are some words that you may want to rephrase, since they could be negatively affecting your child.
In some cases, children can seem to be an unlimited stream of tears, crying because they’re mad, sad, scared, and even happy. It can seem as though a child is crying for no reason at all, which can be annoying for parents, which prompts them to tell their child to stop crying. Crying, as a matter of fact, silly it may seem to us, is the child’s emotion, and telling them to stop can lead to a child who suppresses their emotions for fear of retribution.
You may be wondering how “great job” can possibly be bad. Well, the expression itself is actually really positive, however overusing it, as lots of parents do, can be negative. Using these words as a simple support will teach your child to value the appreciation rather than the satisfaction of an accomplishment and overusing the expression will lead your child to zone it out.
“Leave Me Alone” or “I’m Busy”
It’s true that children can be stressful, and every parent needs their time alone to charge. However, if you regularly tell your children that you’re busy they will internalize that message and be less likely to come to you in the future. While this may seem like a much-needed break for you now, it’s a thought that they will likely carry on throughout their life, and they might not come to you as they grow up.
“You’re so …”.
Labels have actually been known to shortchange kids and pigeonhole them into certain personality traits. Negative labels, like “You’re so mean to Katie”, “You are such a klutz” or “You’re so lazy” will leave children thinking that they actually are those things, and they will start acting as such without knowing it. Even something as seemingly harmless as “You’re shy” can pigeonhole a child into acting a certain way which can debilitate them in life.
“Wait Until Mommy/Daddy Gets Home!”
When a person is at the end of their patience it’s not unusual for them to resort to using the big guns to get a child to do exactly what they want. One of the most common responses is for the parents to way “wait until mommy/daddy gets home!” By stating this you’re making two huge mistakes.
“What you’re really saying is, “I don’t have any power over you, but the person who does have power over both of us is coming home.”
You are giving up all of your power by giving it to the parent that isn’t present. Not only that, but you’re putting that parent in the “bad cop” position, which isn’t fair. It is not your partner’s job to deal with an issue because you couldn’t while they were away.