Giving parents tips on how to raise kids is difficult to say the least. People say ‘Truth is born of arguments.’ – a slightly heavy and intellectual take on our subject – one that I don’t necessarily agree with. What we need to do here is just discuss some really down-to-earth and essential rules of talking to your kids. Children do not have any kind of manual in their young skulls full of mush about how to talk to their parents. Children live moment-to-moment and aren’t into intellectually analyzing what mom or dad is saying. That’s why each of your phrases can play a big role in their lives. It’s so easy for adults, to say something to telegraph a wrong message that we can’t even realize. Without a doubt it’s impossible to keep all situation totally under control. But the rule here is that we talk to our little ones with the best of intentions and in a positive tone or we begin to lose their trust. Parent throwing around negative phrases is one of the reasons kids develop negative behavior patterns.
Read on and take note of the top phrases you should eliminate from your parenting vocabulary right now.
1. ‘Shut-Up ‘ Try: ‘It seems we both are too emotional right now. We need to keep calm and then to discuss it again. Let’s try to think and lay down everything we want to talk about in a more loyal way. We love each other and that’s the reason we need to be regardful.’
2. ‘Leave Me Alone! ‘I’m not sure you want your kid be distant from you. I’m pretty sure that every single time you say this, you can’t stand yourself 2 minutes later! Being a mom means keeping your emotions under control. The ‘Don’t bother me’ phrase is internalized into the message ‘There is no point to try talking to mommy. She always brushes me off. So why should I share my thoughts with her if she is tired from her own life?’ You won’t overlook the moment your kid will lose the need to be close to you’
Try: ‘I’m a little bit tired right now. I had a hard day and need some time to decompress, let’s discuss it tomorrow.
3. ‘I’m Fat ‘You are the principle role model of beauty and accomplishment in you children’s eyes. You are the single person who can show your kids what a real woman can look like. You truly are the face of your children’s world and there Sherpa on so many subjects which ultimately form their values and judgements. That’s why you DON’T show a hysterical reaction to picking up a pound or two. They see the world through your reactions. If mommy picks up a little weight or breaks a newly manicured finger nail, don’t explode and have a tantrum. If you do, you can absolutely count on their following in your footsteps. Don’t spoil their impression of you.
Try: Oh, honey, those extra chocolate cupcakes were a bit too much for my waistline. We’ll going biking tomorrow and I bet our trip will burn off my cupcakes!
4. ‘Don’t Cry’This is probably the most clichéd of parenting phrases. Kids’ tears are never easy to deal with. But you’ll never stop them from crying by uttering this phrase. They perceive it like: ‘It makes me angry. It annoys me. Your feelings and emotions aren’t acceptable to be expressed at all.’ Trying to stop them from crying with this phrase, just makes them shrink and internalize things which is not healthy. Don’t invalidate their feelings because later it can lead to more explosive emotional conditions.
Try: ‘It’s normal to express the overflow of emotions like this. But you should analyze what makes you cry and share it with me, because I’m the person who loves you the most and I’m always by your side. Believe me together we’ll find the best solution.
5. ‘Anything Bad About Their Father ‘Kids always feel bad and uncomfortable hearing something negative about his/her parents and especially when it comes directly from one of the parents about their spouse. This way you break the principles about family integrity and harmony. You deprive the child of that magical feeling of unity, love and mutual respect that needs to flourish. You have no right to make your child disappointed with his dad. No way.
Try to: Dad and I are just trying to reach a common decision. Sometimes two people have very different ideas about how to approach a problem. We share our points of view with one another and then reach a decision. You can always take a part if you want to.
6. ’You always…” or “You never…’You need to realize that your child is always in a process of formation into a fully rounded person. You’re the first one who helps him/her in this development. Saying one of these two phrases you are linking the child with the groundless stereotypes which can hinder his personal progress. There are no ‘always’ or ‘never’. There is a way he expresses himself. Don’t establish these useless, stereotypical boundaries but send him in the right direction with positive message about his/her personality.
Try: Don’t you think your habit can be more true to your real values? Try looking at things from a different perspective.
7. ‘You’re so… ‘Labels shortchange every person. Your child is probably the main person in your life. Remember than this young personality can overhear this phrase like ‘I’m her shy one’ or ‘I’m not the one she can be proud of’ or even worse ’I’m not as good as the other ones’. This phrase is a dangerous shortcut that makes him absolutely down. He won’t ever be self-assured if you don’t let him/her be.
Try: ‘Are you satisfied with this? We both know you need to change the direction, because you want more than you get. Don’t stop, honey, just take one more step and do always your best’
8. ‘That’s not how you do it! Here, let me’In case your kid has done something you don’t like, you do need a talk about it. But you don’t have to bring it up in a belligerent sounding manner and never do you want to be condescending when the child has tried his/her best to do something. You need to make him or her learn the mistakes and analyze the failed situation. You’ll never teach them to be self-reliant with a phrase like ‘I can do it better’. These words make a child defensive and sends them the message that they are not thinking correctly and that someone will always do it better that they would. You want the child to explore options and creativity in solving problems.
Try: ‘I don’t think it’s the best way to do it. I know you can do it better, just try!’
9.’I don’t like that kid. Don’t be friends with him/her’Your kid really needs you to take each one of his choices serious. Let him feel the level you respect his personality and how much you trust him. Try not to criticize the friends you don’t want to see next to him. It’s better to ask him the reasons he likes so-in-so for a friend. Don’t intervene between your child and this playmate you may deem not right for you child. Rather keep asking what your child is doing with this person, how their play outcome rank base on the values you’ve given your child over the years. Knowing the answers you’ll get an opportunity to sum up this relationship and analyze the points
Try: Start to model and discuss the different situations. Ask you kid to imagine how his friend will behave. Talk about this friend strengths and weaknesses. These kinds of ‘marginal friendships’ are a great way to get your child to critically analyze others on a consistent basis.