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Some things we should never say to our children

27th Nov 2015

It is hard to be a parent. There is so much responsibility, and one of the biggest areas of responsibility is looking after what we say to our children. We have to be so careful with the words that we use, and we are not talking about swear words. Instead, we are thinking about the words and phrases that we use on a habitual basis.

These are phrases that we use when we are stressed or when we are feeling that there is a situation that needs to be handled. We think there should be a rule book for things like this, and we work on our communication possibly in a way that has been coloured by how our parents spoke to us. However, the habitual phrases that we use can sometimes do more damage than we think.

Don’t ignore pain

For example, if a child falls and hurts herself, we are conditioned to say that they should pick themselves up and carry on. Or we may say that they should ignore the pain and just shake It off. This is actually quite damaging. We should be focusing on giving warmth and love to our children, and this means taking the time out to talk about where it hurts and how it must hurt rather badly.  

Then, we should say things like it will get better soon but for now let’s have a hug. All children need to know that we understand that it hurts and we will do our best to give comfort. What we shouldn’t be doing is making them feel that they are too tough to feel pain.

Another common thing that parents do is say to their children that they should hurry up. If there is a rush for the school run, and children are doing their best to get things organised as quickly as possible, the last thing you should say to them is hurry up. Using these two words just creates more stress for the children, and makes the whole situation unbearable.

Instead, it’s important that we try and bring a bit of teamwork into things. Set a quick timer and a reward for anyone who is doing very well, for example. Alternatively, you can say something such as we’ve got to do our best to get there on time. This makes the children feel that they are part of a team, and not at fault for being slow.

Leave the diet out of it

Finally, anything regarding your own diet should not be broadcast to the children. If you are watching your weight as an adult, the stress and strain that goes along with this should not be communicated to the children. It’s nothing to do with them that you are overweight.

The stress that comes with being overweight is not something that should be telegraphed to a child. If they do hear you constantly complain about your weight and your worries around how much weight you have put on, then they will start to think that they too are overweight. This could quite easily create a complex in the child, and could affect their development.

Take into account the ideas in this article, and you should find that things are less stressful in the home, and that your communication with your children is more positive.

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