One of the hardest things to learn as a parent is how to actually talk to your children. This is because all kids are unique, so what works for one may very well not work for another kid. For this reason, many parenting books simply don’t work – kids don’t come with a manual.
However, there are certain things that should never be said to any child. Learn what phrases you should try to banish from your vocabulary when talking to your kid(s).
1. Stop Crying!
When a child is upset, scared or shocked, his/her first reaction is usually to start crying. This is completely normal, as this is how kids express their emotions. If anything, you should encourage them to keep expressing how they feel – even if it drives you crazy. Hug your child and tell them it’s ok to cry if they really feel the need to.
2. I’m Disappointed in You
Kids do bad things – they play in the dirt, they hit other children, they fail exams. But it’s important to remember that they’re still learning – sometimes, they don’t even know that what they’re doing is wrong. It’s your job to explain to them – in a calm manner – that what they did is wrong and offer a solution.
3. Do It Because I Say So!
This is one of the worst ways to make your child do something – yes, sometimes a parent doesn’t have time to explain their reasoning, but what this does is essentially take all control away from your child. Always try to explain why you need something done. When your kid has a good context of why you’re asking them to do or not do something, they understand and learn for themselves.
4. Why Can’t You Be More Like Your Brother/Sister?
As mentioned, all kids are unique and should, therefore, be treated like that. Comparisons don’t help change behavior, but they do tend to backfire, as children feel pressured to be something they’re not. Instead, try positive reinforcement when they’re doing good, and calm reasoning when they’re not.
5. Big Girls/Boys Don’t Get Scared
The world is an unknown, often chaotic place, and it’s ok to get scared – especially if you’re a child! Trying to force your kid to be brave is not going to actually make them brave – it’s going to make them feel ashamed of how they feel. Instead, try to explain that we all get scared sometimes, but that it’s important not to let fear stops us from doing what we want/need to do.