Sometimes we automatically say something to our children without thinking about the concequences of the frequently used phrases in the family.
These phrases are passed from generation to generation, fly off the tongue easily and quickly, and often cause serious damage to the formation of the child. At first glance, the phrase may look quite harmless, but still… it is better not to repeat it.
1. Leave me alone!
There can be many ways of sending this message: “Leave me alone“, “Do not bother me,” “I’m busy right now”, “Go away, let me do my business,” and so on. As a result of the frequent utterance of these sentences, the child may form a model of parent-child relationships, where his role surely would not be of prime importance. In the future, this will inevitably affect the relations between parents and grown children. In the most difficult cases, the words “Go away, do not disturb” could be understood literally by the child: the child is an obstacle, parents do not value him and dream to get rid of him.
2. You are such a…
The label, given to the kid in the childhood, will inevitably influence the formation of his character, and it will do harm with high probability. It is preferable not to use the words like “silly”, “moody”, and “lazy” in communicating with children. And it is completely unapproproate to repeat the words several times. Psychologists especially advise to avoid negatively stained labels, although the effect of neutral and positively stained “nicknames” has not been understood fully yet.
3. Stop Crying!
This is probably one of the parents’ most commonly used phrases. Repeating it, you will convince your child that his feelings or the events that made him cry are not valid and worthy of attention, they are insignificant. If your child cries, it will be much more effective to stop the crying by comforting the child and showing that you understand and accept his feelings.
4. Why can’t you be like …?
Such comparisons with a sister or a brother, a neighbor’s child or somebody else are dangerous not only because they can result in long-term resentment and jealousy, but because they are able to provoke a negative reaction and reluctance to do what you want from the child.
5. Hurry up
It is clear that such a phrase is most often heard at a time when parents are in a hurry. At such moments, it is desirable that the child move as quickly as possible, but unfortunately, he/she is distracted by everything and is doing something else. It is possible that the same behavior of your child does not cause your irritation at some calmer moments, and you do not even notice it. If this phrase of yours always sounds irritatedly or accusingly, it makes the child feel that their parent is unhappy because of him, that the child causes discomfort. If this situation is repeated every day or even several times a day, it will not have any good result. The very least thing you can achieve is the decrease of the child’s self-esteem, and sometimes even protest behavior.
6. Good for you!
Could this common encouraging phrase be harmful? Psychologists say that if you frequently use the same phrase to praise the child, it becomes impersonal and devalued. By mechanically saying “well done” we make it equal to a total lack of any praise in the child’s perception. So it is better to praise the child differently each time, not using the same expressions.
7. Let me help you, you can’t do it
Psychologists believe that such a phrase, repeated every single day, makes the child convinced of a failure. The child is already prepared for the fact that he/she will not cope alone, and mom will come and do everything. By the way, at a certain age the child goes through a period of “I will do it myself”, during which the utterance of such a phrase could even provoke a serious conflict!
8. Just take it and calm down!
Frequent substitution of a strict prohibition for a strained permission tells the child that his way of asking (whining, screaming, tantrums, moods) can help him get anything from parents.
9. Stop doing it now!
There could hardly be anyone else, except your child, whom you would be able to tell to shut up immediately, calm down, or do something faster. Otherwise you would not have allowed yourself to speak in such a tone, right? The child is also offended by such a treatment and feels absolutely powerless. Instead of “stopping” and “calming down”, the child starts to protest. Babies cry and get capricious, teenagers say “leave me alone” and become reserved. As a result of saying such a phrase, a mother may get the opposite result: instead of “stopping”, the child will only reinforce undesirable behavior.
Every time when you say something to your child in a fit of anger, think for a second because one day he will tell you the same thing. Will it be a pleasure to hear it? This is a simple method to easily estimate what one can and what one should not say to the child.