Education: 9 phrases you should NEVER say to your child

All of us tired and always in a hurry parents can turn to our children with wrong phrases, which can leave our little ones hurt and angry. Paula Spencer, blogger of the American site, wrote a list of 9 things to avoid telling children and what sentences to replace them with. Read also: Raising children: the 10 most common mistakes parents make today

1 Leave me alone!

It is more than legitimate for a parent to take a break from their children. But saying too often to a little one phrases like: "Leave me alone", "don't disturb me", "I'm busy" ... you risk making the child internalize the message that you never have time for him.

In this way it will be difficult for him to have a dialogue with you when he grows up and tell you about his problems as a teenager.

Instead, they should get used to them from an early age that parents need time for themselves. Leave them sometimes with a babysitter, grandmother or friend, and take some space. When you return to them you will be more available.

And when you are stressed and you have to do something on the run, prepare yourself in advance some sentences to say to your children. For example, you can say: "Mom has to finish something important, don't worry about drawing for a few minutes, as soon as I'm done I'll take you out".

Obviously, be realistic: it is unlikely that a preschooler will be able to spend an hour alone ...

2 You are so ...

Labels, especially negative ones, stick to children and turn into self-fulfilling prophecies "Why are you always so ... shy"? "Why are you so stupid ...". Eventually a little one feels really stupid and will start acting accordingly.

But even the label of "smart" risks turning into an expectation that is difficult for a small child to bear.

A far better approach is to address specific behavior and avoid adjectives about his personality. "You made a mistake in treating your friend badly. Let's see together how it can be remedied ..."

3 Don't cry

Saying phrases like: "Don't be sad"; "Do not be a child"; "There is no reason to be afraid" ... But small children who still cannot put into words what they feel are normal for crying, just as it is normal for them to have fears. Tell them they don't have to cry or there's no reason to be sad, it means sending them the message that their emotions are invalid. And that it's not good to be sad or scared.

Rather than denying a child's emotions, it is much better to show him that you recognize what he is feeling, eg, "You must be very sad because he doesn't want to be your friend anymore." "It is normal that you are afraid of the waves, but I will stay close to you and I will hold you by the hand and you will see that there will be no percolation".

Name the emotions your child feels, he will learn to manage them and not get overwhelmed. And next time, instead of crying, she will describe in her own words what she is feeling.

4 Why aren't you like your sister?

Sometimes it is natural to take a brother as an example: "Your sister at your age was already dressing herself ...". But comparisons can backfire. Furthermore, each child is different from the other.

Let everyone develop at their own pace, his own temperament and personality. Always comparing him to others could make it seem to your child that you would have wanted him different.

Furthermore, continuous comparisons do not help improve behaviors. Always feeling pressured about something they aren't ready to do or don't like to do can be confusing and stressful, and it can undermine his self-esteem (Read also: Self-esteem in 7 rules: here's how to raise safe children)

Or he might resent and not do what you ask him to out of spite and thus start a tug-of-war that leads nowhere. Instead, it is better to encourage successes and give an example of what it can do: "Bravo, you put on your coat by yourself!" ...

Read also: Does having sisters affect character?

5 Come on, you know how to do it very well!

Like comparisons, digging at children can do more harm than a parent imagines. Learning is a journey of trial and error. Do you really think your child is capable of pouring water from that heavy jug? If you don't feel like it, don't insist, just in case try together to see how to do it. Maybe fill the pitcher with less water so he won't be afraid he won't be able to pour it.

And if he's wrong, avoid a negative comment: it won't be productive or helpful.

Also avoid phrases like: "I can't believe you did it!" "It was time!" . They don't sound like terrible phrases, but they don't mean anything and the message a little one might receive is "you never do anything good"!


The 10 golden rules for raising deficient, debauched and asocial children

go to the gallery

Always please your child, defend him even if he is rotten wrong and never reproach him ... The issue is very serious, that is, the education of our children, but once in a while ...

6 Stop it or I'll give it to you!

Threats are the result of frustrated parents and are rarely effective. Sometimes we find ourselves screaming warnings like, "If you do that again I'll spank you!" The problem is that you then have to follow up on the threats, otherwise you will lose your power. And it is now proven that spanking does not improve behavior.

It is much more effective to develop a repertoire of constructive tactics: be authoritative and calm, explain to him that it is not okay to behave like this, that you understand his reasons but now is not the time to have yet another biscuit. Alternatively, ask them to read a book together. Read also: How to make your children obey you without screaming

7 Wait when dad gets home!

This widely used phrase is just another type of threat. Also, the problem is postponed to a later date. While in the face of a whim, it is necessary to intervene immediately. If the parent's intervention is postponed, the child runs the risk of not connecting it with the wrong action he has committed. When the other parent returns home, the child has likely forgotten what he did.

Also pass the hot potato to someone else it also undermines your authority. Your child may think: "Why do I have to listen to mom if she doesn't do anything after all?".
Finally you put your partner in the bad cop position.

8 Hurry up!

We live in a busy time with appointments, schedules, lack of sleep, traffic and are always in a rush. And when a child, unaware of the frenetic pace, does not find his shoes, does not want to put on his jacket, we lose our patience and end up yelling at him to move.
When we are in such a hurry, children feel guilty. This feeling makes them feel bad, but it doesn't motivate them to go faster.

"In the morning in my house there is such nervousness, and the last image my children have of me is my angry face. So I made a deal with myself, whatever happens in the morning: the milk spilled on the clean clothes, the satchel not ready yet ... I have to keep calm and strive to find kind ways to accelerate, "says Paul Coleman, a family therapist.

9 Very good! You are a genius!

Positive reinforcement, after all, is one of the most effective tools a parent has.

The problem comes when praise is vague and indiscriminate. Saying phrases like: "Great job!" for every little thing your child does, it ultimately empties it of meaning.

Children understand perfectly well when praise is mechanical.

Then a better to avoid indiscriminate praise. Just praise the results that come from real efforts. For example, finishing a glass of milk is not an exceptional achievement.

Be specific. It goes without saying: “Your drawing is beautiful” to all the dozens of drawings your child makes every day. Better to comment by saying: "Bravo, I see that you drew the tree with many branches and you made the green leaves ..."

And praise the behavior rather than the child: "I'm happy because you were quiet doing the puzzle while I finished cooking, just like I asked you ..."

Also read: Praise your child's efforts, so you improve their learning

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Updated on 12.09.2022

  • children education
  • phrases not to say to a child
  • positive reinforcement
  • words not to say
  • motivated praise
  • avoid comparisons between siblings
  • do not label a child
  • don't be in a hurry don't yell at the children
  • don't spank a child
  • do not threaten children
  • 3-5 children years
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