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, because they could be negatively impacting your child.
Sometimes children can seem to be an endless stream of tears, crying because they’re mad, sad, afraid, and even happy. It can seem as though a child is crying for no reason at all, and that can be frustrating for parents, which urges them to tell their child to stop crying. In reality, crying, however silly it may seem to us, is the child’s emotion, and telling them to stop can result in a child who stifles their emotions for fear of retribution.
You may be wondering how “good job” can possibly be bad. Well, the phrase itself is actually very positive, but overusing it, as many parents do, can be negative. Using these words as a general encouragement will teach your child to value the praise rather than the satisfaction of an accomplishment, and overusing the phrase will lead your child to zone it out.
“Leave Me Alone” or “I’m Busy”
It’s true that kids can be hectic and every parent needs their time alone to recharge. But, if you routinely 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 may not come to you as they grow up.
Labels have 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 believing that they actually are those things, and they will begin 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 uncommon for them to resort to using the big guns to get a child to do what they want. One of the most common responses is for the parents to say “wait until mommy/daddy gets home!” By saying this you’re making two big mistakes.