10 Phrases That Hurt Children, But We Always Say
In conversations, there is always at least one speaker and one listener. It becomes tricky when both people are not on the same wavelength, and so what is said is perceived very differently by the listener than what the speaker originally meant. It becomes even more difficult when the listener is very sensitive. This is often the case when parents speak to their children. Granted, parents often do not mean to sound angry or mean; however, children almost always take things much more to heart than what was originally intended. Below are a few phrases that we all use every day that do not seem that bad but secretly really hurt children.
This is especially the case in the morning when you are in a hurry and your child wants to put on their shoes themselves and also wants to take their jacket with them to daycare that just cannot be found right now. Parents will say that their child should hurry without thinking. We, as parents, do not think anything by saying that they should hurry, but your child finds a lot of meaning in it besides the face value. They understand it as they are annoying and a burden on their parents. An alternative to this would be to ask how much more time the child still needs to get ready.
Pay attention to where you're going!
Children are curious and always want to explore the world around them. Sure, as parents, we want to protect our children from danger and demand more caution from them. However, the child understands this as the world being a dangerous place and can sometimes retreat because of it. It is better to say that they should be careful and pay attention.
As a parent, you have probably told your child that they should go to bed soon and then witnessed them suddenly begin to cry. If you, as the parent, reprimand him or her and tell them to stop crying, they understand it as they shouldn't show emotions. An alternative would be to ask them for the reason they are upset.
How many times have I told you how to do this right?
It doesn't matter if your child holds their bottle wrong for the hundredth time and spills it all. It is not right to ask how often you have told them how to do something. The child merely understands that he or she failed again. It is a lot better to tackle the problem together.
Boys don't cry!
If a little boy loses his favorite stuffed animal, he will be upset without question. He cries. The problem is when parents say that he shouldn't cry, because he is a boy. This little boy will then understand that to be a real man, he shouldn't cry or show his feelings. It is better to just comfort him.
XYZ is better than you!
Often parents compare their kids with others', for example with the neighbors' kids. In actuality, you are trying to motivate your child, but they only understand that they are worse than everyone else. It is better to show your child that you love them the way they are.
You should be ashamed of yourself!
You warned your child not to run around the house, but they did, and now a vase is broken. Saying "Shame on you!" doesn't help in this situation. The child just understands that he or she is a terrible person. Alternatively, assuming your child shows remorse, explain to them that we all make mistakes sometimes.
You never clean your room!
Kids' rooms are always a mess, and when we are annoyed about it, we always make sure they know it. Unfortunately, your beloved child only understands in this situation that they are always doing things wrong. An alternative would be to explain the situation and encourage them to tidy up their room.
When you don't brush your teeth, I am very sad!
Children often refuse to do what adults tell them to do. In some instances, it is necessary for them to do what you say, like brushing their teeth. Sometimes we as parents make them feel very guilty, because we are upset. Rather than manipulate this reaction, it is better to just stay neutral.
Clean up the table right now!
Sometimes crayons or toys clutter the table, and we want our child to put everything away. The child unfortunately only understands that their needs or wants hardly play a role. An alternative is to ask the child to clean up the table. If necessary, an explanation as to why the table should be tidied could also be helpful.
Already caught something that you say to your kids that you shouldn't? Show this article to other parents, so that we can all learn to better understand our kids!