13 Things You Should Stop Saying to Your Kids Now
Sticks and stones may break kids' bones, put a parent's words can truly hurt them. In moments of anger and frustration, we tend to say things to or around our children without thinking of the consequences. There are some, like our favorite four-letter word, that evoke laughter from kids. And there are other, less humorous phrases that can make kids cry, lower their self-esteem, and potentially ruin their relationship with a parent. Though it may take some extra effort, here are a few phrases you should stop saying to your children (along with some compelling reasons why) immediately.
"Here, I'll do it."
It's natural to want to take control of a child's project or make their bed, but then they will never learn (or want to learn) how to do it themselves.
Children should feel safe when it comes to expressing their emotions. Telling your child not to shed a tear implies that there is something wrong with it, when it's completely normal.
"Why can't you be more like ___?"
Nothing makes a child feel worse than hearing she isn't as good as a sibling or a peer. Instead, you should celebrate their unique strengths.
"You sure you want to eat that?"
There are better ways to talk to your child about eating and exercise habits than a judgmental comment. Your word choice could be the difference between body image issues and body confidence.
"Wait until your ____ gets home."
There are two things wrong with this statement. One, it makes it seem like they won't be punished until later and could cause them to act out more. Two, it implies that you have no control over the situation.
To us, a small scrape is no big deal, but to a child, it can be the most painful experience in the world. Simply tend to their boo-boo, but don't make it a bigger deal than it is.
When you break a promise to a child, you build trust issues. So when it comes to big gestures, say "I'll try" instead.
"Your ___ is an idiot."
If you don't want your child calling his peers idiots, then perhaps you shouldn't use the word either. Not to mention it insinuates that there are problems between you and your partner.
"There's no reason to be scared."
Telling your kid this won't change the fact that they are scared. Instead, talk to them about their fear and try to help them through it.
"I hate you too."
At some point, your child will say they hate you. But rather than stoop to their level (yes, some parents do this), simply say that you love them anyways.
"Because I said so."
This is one cliché that we need to bury, and for good reasons. Without an explanation, your child sees no reason to stop the behavior or action that you reprimanded them for.
"I hope you have kids just like you."
While we understand what this sentiment means, your children may interpret it as you saying you hate raising them.
To be honest, it's just rude.