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Kids are affected by what you say – more than they care to show.Your words shape their personality development; the wrong ones can damage their self esteem as well as set the wrong example!
Here are 6 common phrases many parents use to discipline their child, or generally communicate with them. While some of them seem harmless enough, child development experts recommend you stop saying them immediately!
1. Stop Crying
By telling kids to stop crying, you make them feel that it is not okay to for them to express themselves. Instead of telling them to stop, find out why they are crying. Even if the reason seems trivial to you, do not say so. Let them know it is perfectly normal to cry sometimes. Comfort them and let them know that you are always there to offer love, support and care.
2. Why Can’t You Be More Like__ ?
Comparing your kid with anyone is one of the worst things you can do to them. For example, if your child is not performing well at school, comparing grades with a peer or a sibling will only make him or her feel inadequate. Every child has different strengths and interests. Why focus on the weak areas when you can work on the strengths?
Comparison also leads to indifference, resentment and low self-esteem. Do you really want your child to go through all of that?
3. Because I Said So
Although this phrase is very tempting to use when your kid is being difficult, avoid it at all costs.
Even when kids don’t understand the reason behind why you want them to do something, try your best to explain it to them. Although that is easier said than done, know that if you use this phrase too often,it won’t be long before your kid is saying the same thing to you! After all, kids emulate what we say and do, don’t they? Try to be as reasonable as you can – no matter how hard it gets.
4. No __ Till You __
“No TV till you finish your homework!” No dessert till you finish your vegetables!”
Who hasn’t used lines like these as a desperate measure to get their kids to do something? Although these techniques work, you are getting your kids used to bribery. Try to highlight the benefits of doing homework or eating vegetables instead.
5. There’s No Reason To Be Afraid
Sure, children have baseless fears, like a monster under their bed, or the friendly, over-enthusiastic neighbourhood dog. But telling your child that they don’t have a reason to be afraid after they have expressed themselves will only hurt them. Do not invalidate their fears, and do not play along with them by accepting that they are right to be afraid. Try a gentler approach like explaining to them that monsters don’t exist, or dogs are harmless if unprovoked.
6. You’re a Good Girl/Boy
This statement is made by a lot of parents to raise their kid’s self-esteem. Unfortunately, it often has the opposite effect. Once you tell this to your child after he or she has done some task or activity well, they will feel that they are good only if they continue to do them well. This will make them not try anything new due to a fear of failure. To teach them the values you want to impart, focus on how they achieved something instead of what they achieved.
The right communication approach with your children can make a world of difference in what they grow up to be. Always remember this – be gentle yet firm, be affectionate but not illogical. Our children are smarter than we give them credit for!