Even out of frustration or having had a bad day, letting certain phrases spew out of your mouth can be as poisonous as a Cobra snake. Watch every word that comes out of your mouth. Your words can either build your child up or they can bring them down further than you could ever imagine.
- "I Hate You." This is one of the most painful things to hear out of a parent's mouth. Trust me, I know this. This is one phrase that you will never ever forget-no matter how hard you try. If your parent tells you that they hate you, it feels almost the same as being completely abandoned. You cannot reverse this and it will most likely stick with your child, forever. No child should ever be told that they are hated or unloved. If you feel that these words may slip out of your mouth then leave the room right away and cool off. Collect yourself. Remember that you cannot take these words back.
- "You are nothing." This is similar to the above phrase. Telling a child that they are worthless immediately reduces their self esteem from an early age. They grow up feeling their unworth and believing that they truly are not valued. Because of this, they might even form their lives around this untrue little notion that the parent placed into their minds. It is planted, like a seed, and grows into something very negative. Remind your child daily that they are loved and super special. They will feel it, promise.
- "You are such a little (insert name)!" Name calling is pure nonsense. I remember being called names as a child and it hurt. It hurts a lot more when it is your parent. You know, the one who is supposed to love and adore you for all eternity-unconditionally. You should never call your child names. Period. Just like you shouldn't curse at your children. Yes, we get angry sometimes at them, but there is zero excuse. I don't care what they might say to you-don't do it.
- "I wish you were more/less (insert adjective/trait)!" This just like all of the above, damages a child's self outlook. Saying, "I wish you were sweeter or more quiet" or "I wish you were like your brother or sister" can really make them resent their siblings or people whom resemble the desired trait. Saying that you wish your child was more "something" makes them feel as if they will never be good enough for you. So what do they do? The opposite. They rebel. Try pointing out your child's positive traits while working with them-not against-on the areas that need improving.
- "Because I said so." I hate this phrase. I know a lot of parents who are guilty of it without really thinking of it. By telling a child this, they feel bullied or "bossed around" without reason. Instead of saying "Because I said so," try giving them a reason. Sure, they are a child, but they are human being, too. I am not saying to reason with them, but just give them a reason. This will teach them that you are setting them up for success-not just trying to overpower them.
Their feelings do matter, contrary to what most people believe. After all, children are our future.