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Ten things you should not say to your child
Ten things you should not say to your child

Raising a child is one of the most difficult tasks that every parent has to face. Everything we do counts, and in particular our words and actions. Be very careful with what you say to your children, because all the things they hear have a grave impact on their upbringing. These are the very things that will shape the world-view of the child, the relationship we will have with them, and the way they will relate to the world around them. What are the things you should not say? The list goes on. There are, however, some sentences that should not be heard by a child. Here are some of them.

What are the things you should not say to your child?

When nervous and under pressure, we tend to say a lot. Far too much. An adult will either dismiss it or turn a deaf ear; however children respond differently. There are many words a child should not hear from your mouth. Below is a selection of 10 sentences that parents often use when speaking with children. And they shouldn't.

How to avoid common parenting mistakes? Drop them from your dictionary!

1. No! Because I say so!

What if a spouse or supervisor spoke to you this way? What are the things you should not say to a child? Things that no adult would like to hear. ‘No, because I say so’ does not offer any explanation, it just shows the superiority of the parent over the child. By hearing this, your child gets a message that logic and reasonable arguments are not important, the only thing that matters is a fixed hierarchy.

2. I have no time. I'm busy.

Is there anything more important than your child and their needs? Even, if you must do something else, don’t let your child feel, that they are less important. If you don’t have time for them now, in the future they will not come to you with their problems.

3. Or someone will come and take you away. Or I’ll leave you here.

Don’t say it because these words are just creating unnecessary fear in your child and showing them that love is conditional and only the “good” children are loved. And you love them unconditionally, right? 

4. Do you hear what I'm saying to you? Do you understand what I'm saying to you?

The child can hear perfectly well what you are saying. They have no problems with hearing, but do not necessarily understand what is expected of them at the moment, or are too stressed by your behaviour to respond properly. Your upset tone does not help, much less the above mentioned phrases.

5. Behave yourself. Don't embarrass me.

A normal behaviour for you may not necessarily be so for your child, especially when they need attention, are embarrassed, feel insecure or simply bored. Embarrassment? You mean your child is not good enough for you and you don’t love them unconditionally? Or perhaps, you struggle to take care of them without having to be "embarrassed" for them? 

6. Don't make an issue out of it.

While something may be trivial to you, it can be a serious concern to your child. What are the things you should not say to your child? That their problems are trivial. If you want your child to share their experiences with you now and in a few years’ time, you can't downplay the "problems" they face, even if they seem banal to you.

7. Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about.

A perfect example of what should not be said to a child. The very fact that a child is crying means that there is a reason for it. Don't show your child that problems should be downplayed, but that they need to be solved. Emotions should not be bottled up, but they should be confronted.

8. See what you've done!

The child can see perfectly well what they have done. They are probably sorry and embarrassed enough already - they don't need any additional humiliation from you, even if it is unintentional. The child does see and did not do the things deliberately - falls happen to adults too, but no one likes to be stepped over and have their failures pointed out with superiority.

9. Wait till your father gets home.

Making your child afraid of the other parent and shifting the responsibility to the other side is really giving in and admitting you can’t handle your weakness. Build respect, which is not based on fear, and don’t create the “good parent” and “bad parent” camps. A child loves both parents - why should one parent pamper them and the other just offer punishment?

10. You were very good today - can't you do that all the time?

It looks like a praise, and yet the irony can be sensed not only by adults, but also by children. What are the things you should not say to your child? Praises that make them feel bad at the same time. When giving credit - give credit, don't turn the praise into an insulting compliment.

What are the things that you should never ever say to a child?

The above examples list things that should not be said to children. To have a sense of security children should not listen to the words we mentioned before. There are also sentences that under no circumstances should be heard by any child. These words are very painful and harmful: “I don't love you any more", "you're no good for this", "I don't think you'll ever learn", "you can't do it", ""he already knows how to do it and you still don't", "it's your fault". These words leave a long-term effect on your child’s psyche, even though parents seem to forget them after a short while.


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