10 phrases that could hurt your child and what to say instead / The Bright Side
We may think that words cannot have much effect on a person. Especially if he’s a little kid, we might think he’s going to forget everything anyway. But what you tell your child actually plays a very important role. It is best to avoid using certain phrases as they may have a negative impact on your child and his or her mental health.
We’re on the bright side. I hope our little guide will help you connect with your child better. So here are some phrases that are better to replace.
1. “You are fine.”
When your baby gets upset about something, or if he gets hurt and starts crying, your immediate reaction may be to try to calm your baby and reassure him that everything is okay. However, this may not be the best reaction. If your baby is crying, it means that something is not right, and you should let him feel his feelings. You can even help them understand how they are feeling by describing what happened.
2. “I am on a diet.”
This phrase may give your child the message that you are not satisfied with your appearance – and this can pass on to them because you are their role model, and they learn everything from you. This means that this could cause your child to have body image issues. Instead, explain that eating healthy makes you feel happier and that exercise is also something you do to stay healthy — but it can also be fun.
3. “We can’t stand it.”
Avoid burdening your child with your family’s financial situation, which can be stressful and frightening for them. This doesn’t mean you have to buy them what you want and pretend everything is fine, but you can say “no” to them using other words, without giving them more information than they can handle.
4. “Be careful.”
If you fear that your child will hurt himself, for example, while doing something on the playground, and you want to warn him, you may actually be doing him harm because it may be distracting.
Moreover, if you use this phrase a lot, your child may think that it is unsafe to be anywhere. This also robs them of their opportunity to think for themselves. So instead, you can ask guiding questions to help them know if it’s safe to do something a certain way.
5. “Let me do it.”
Whether it’s solving a puzzle or preparing a meal for the first time, you may want to help your child do it if he’s struggling to do it right. However, if you keep doing things for them, they may not learn to do it on their own. And if you jump too soon, your child may think that he will never be able to do anything without your help. Alternatively, you can offer indirect suggestions or ask questions that will help them find a solution.
6. “You make me so angry.”
Of course, children should be aware that their words and behavior can affect how others feel. However, you shouldn’t seem to blame them for how you feel. So, even if you feel angry and upset, it is important to remain calm, which will show your child that you have the power to control your emotions, and explain to them why you feel this way.
7. “If… then…”
Avoid using this structure that ends with a penalty. If you say something like that, it may sound like a threat, and it may also make your child feel like you’re looking to punish him. Instead, use “when…then…” and make the statement sound positive by paraphrasing it and adding a reward at the end.
8. “Wait until your dad/mother comes home.”
This statement may show your child that you don’t know how to deal with his misbehavior. It also makes the other parent evil. Moreover, postponing the punishment may not be a good idea either, because it may not be as effective as if you did it right away – show them the unacceptable behavior.
9. “I told you so.”
This phrase may sound to your child as if you hope their decision is wrong, and you also enjoy their failure. Instead, try to present the situation in a more objective way and analyze it with your child.
10. “Do nothing.”
Oftentimes, when your child does something that is not considered good behaviour, he may not be aware of it. And when you tell them to stop, it can be hard for them to control their impulses, and then even harder for them to figure out what to do instead.
So it is better to tell your child what to do than to tell him what not to. Regardless, if your child knows that what he’s doing is wrong and you keep repeating your words, it may reinforce the bad behavior, because you are drawing attention to it.
Do you use these phrases? Do you agree that it can be harmful? What should parents avoid telling their children?