Unless a parent is a Saint, mostly every parent has already been angry with their child at some point and said things they afterwards regretted and wished they could take back. Kids don't come equipped with a manual! We, as parents, aspire to be the perfect mother and father to our children. Learning how to communicate with our children and trying to send them the proper message that won't backfire on both of us is one of the most difficult aspects of parenthood. As James Lehman says "It's vital to realize that what comes out of our mouth doesn't necessarily get into your child's ear the way we want it to".
Every day, parents go through new experiences and face new problems as they navigate parenthood. It's possible that parents will say unpleasant things to their children, but the most important thing is to apologize and say something positive to them. "Please accept my apologies; I did not intend for what I said to be taken literally. You have my respect and appreciation ". The act of apologizing will be remembered far more than the hurtful words or the bad attitude.
There are many harmful words we say to our children when we are stressed, upset, or angry, but there is also many harmless expressions, behaviors, and common verbal gaffes that we say or do without recognizing that they can cause our children to feel resentment, anger, or other negative emotions.
Here are a few examples:
Whenever our children are confronted with an emotional situation, we use a blameless expression as "Don't cry". By stating that, we are suggesting that our child's tears are unacceptable. It is OK to let our children to express their true feelings and emotions. By putting a name to the emotion "Are you scared? Are you in pain?", we provide them with the tools to express themselves, allowing them to talk about their feelings and, as a result, stop crying.
“Why can’t you be like your sister/brother?”
Comparing siblings to one another raises your child's and your own disagreements and quarrels. It's fine to use an example of a positive characteristic in a friend or sibling, but never compare. Each child is unique, with his or her own personality, characteristics, and temperament. Comparing themselves to others will lower their self-esteem. Instead, congratulate your child on his or her accomplishments and encourage them on their efforts .
“That’s not how we do it. Let me fix it.”
When asking your child for assistance, demonstrate the technique, be patient, and refrain from rushing in and performing the work yourself. Your child should learn from his failures so that he can master the task in the future. If you need to step in and assist, be cooperative.
Hurry up! Who doesn't ask their kid? We're all rushing to eat, get in the car, take a ride, drive to the supermarket, finish homework or visit our relatives. The term "hurry up" isn't the issue; it's the tone of voice we use to urge our children to hurry that causes stress and anxiety. Our children would become unhappy rather than faster as a result of their guilt. Rather of pressuring the children to rush, we should aim to manage time with them.
“Because I said so!”
We've all used this powerful word that makes our children feel weak and ineffective. We should avoid using it and instead strive to provide a fair explanation to assist them in understanding the situation.
“You’re so smart. You’re so pretty.”
Positive feedback can sometimes limit a child's potential. It is important to praise your child's efforts, but be careful not to label them. By instilling confidence in your child, you are also instilling in them a dread of failure. Your child will constantly be afraid of falling short of the standard you have set for him. The child will always be hesitant to try new or more difficult things since fear of not being first or perfect will limit the capabilities and imagination.
“That’s ridiculous, how can you be upset of that?”
Simple things, which we adults consider insignificant, irritate or frustrate children, particularly teenagers. Make an effort not to dismiss your child's sentiments. What may appear insignificant to you may be vital to your child. Talk to your child and try and understand why he/she is frustrated and acting the way he/she is.
“Good job, good boy!”
Praise your child for everything he or she accomplishes loses its meaning. When congratulating your children, be specific and direct. Acknowledge deeds and efforts, but also save your praise for something truly deserved.
“Stop it right now, or else…”
Threatening your child without willing to carry out the threat would harm your relationship with your children and send a message that threats have no meaning. When you're furious, consider refocusing your warnings on something more reasonable, such as removing your child from the situation or using time-outs.
Always reflect before you address your children, no matter what is the situation. Despite the parents' best intentions, a little simple verbal error can hurt the child for the rest of his/her life. Refocus, take a deep breath, and leave the fight when you're angry. It is preferable to leave and calm down rather than to remain and say anything hurtful. Always strive to improve your relation with your children. Make an effort to change your vocabulary, establish boundaries, and maintain a positive and reasonable mindset.