When you’re around little ears, remember that the things you blurt out can wreak havoc on a child’s self-esteem.
One thing you need to know as a parent is that every child matures with their own experiences, and seeing your little one develop into a smart teen is a learning curve on its own. Something parents tend to forget is that the things we say to our kids can either build them up or break them down. To help you avoid causing permanent damage with your words, we bring you a list of things that should never leave your mouth when you’re talking to or scolding your child.
1. Your Siblings Are Better Than You
Never make the mistake of comparing your child to either their siblings or friends. This can damage the relationahip between the children and you must remember that every child is different.
2. I Will Never Forgive You
When we’re angry or hurt we all react quickly, especially after a stressful day at work, but saying something like this will make your child feel that whatever it is they’ve done will forever be held against them. Rather find a way to tell your chid that what did wrong and that you both have to find a way to work through it and move forward.
3. I’m Ashamed Of You
These words will make your child feel like they are a disgrace to you and the family and this is too much of a burden for a child to carry. Keep depression in mind.
4. I Was More Responsible Than You At That Age
This is a sure confidence breaker; remember that your child is growing up at a different times than you did. Instead of using this discouraging statement, look into words that are encouraging. Also remember to never compare your child to yourself and try to lessen your expectations.
5. Do Not Disturb Me
We all need some space, but your responsibility towards your child is more important. As harmless as this plea may be, it may make your child feel unwanted and alone. So next time you’re tempted to say something along these lines, make sure that all your child’s needs have been attended to.
6. Don’t Cry
Sometimes the only way kids can express themselves is through crying, and you’d rather have a crying child than a child that bottles up their emotions. Help your child to recognise their feelings and deal with them openly and honestly.
By Thina Mthembu. Image: Istock