Becoming a parent is not only about providing foods, clothes, and shelter for our children. There are bigger responsibilities we’re dealing with. One of them is to ensure that our children have a stable emotional health that they could carry through adulthood and beyond.
To develop a healthy sense of self to our children, there are some habitual statements that we need to erase from our vocabulary, even though we got some of them from our parents.
Here we list 5 common parenting sentences that could be destructive and carrying a long-term impact on our beloved children;
1. “I’m proud of you!
Like it or not, saying this sentence could be a little tricky. It could shape our children to be dependent on the validation of others. As they grow up, they could live up to the approval of others and there’s a big probability that they will act according to what their surroundings tell them to.
Here’s a tip, change the wording to “you should be proud of yourself” and you’ll see the difference, as it encourages kids to try new things and work hard for themselves. For their own fulfillment, not because they are trying to please their parents or anyone else.
2. “Great job!”
The problem with this statement is that it’s often said for little things that a child hasn’t really put efforts into. It is also said repeatedly until it becomes meaningless.
We think it’s better to be specific and let the children know what’s impressive things they have done, maybe more like “I saw that you share a toy with your friend, that’s great!”
Keep in mind to focus on their effort in order to show them that their effort is way more important than the results.
3. “Don’t cry” or “don’t be scared”
We often told that ‘big girls don’t cry’ since we were a little as if crying is wrong and shameful actions. But human is born with feelings and emotions that wired into our brains. It sometimes causes our bodies to react in certain ways, and crying is one of the responses of an emotional state. It’s very normal to cry.
Looking at the fact mentioned above, we suggest to actively encourage kids to cry whenever they need to. Hurt feelings can be toxic and could lead to a sudden emotional outburst. It’s better to shed it off.
As a replacement of the familiar phrase “big boys/girls don’t cry”, try reassuring phrases like “I’m sorry this is hard and I see how upset you are, but I’ll be with you while you are upset.”
We also can try to verbalize the feelings our child might be having like “you’re really disappointed that you couldn’t go swimming right now, aren’t you?”
This can help our children to understand their feelings. Furthermore, after they acknowledge the feelings they’re having, they will learn to control their emotions.
4. “I told you so.”
Letting this sentence slips off our tongue is such a boastful act because it implies that we’re right and they’re wrong. We may feel a sense of satisfaction after saying this, but to be completely honest, it’s never helpful to the children. It’s only a constant reminder to the children that they have made a wrong decision.
Moreover, nobody will remember who was right or wrong in any situation but everyone will remember the story about how the problem was solved.
5. “That’s the way I was raised and I turned out fine.”
We couldn’t really utter these words because every child is not born exactly the same. If something works for us, it doesn’t mean that it will work for everyone. Every child needs to be raised based on their personal needs.
Besides, time elapses and trend shifts. As modernization entered our lives, we cant just generalize what works best at the time when we’re still a small child to end up equally relevant to this present time. At this modern era we live in, the game has changed.
There’s no manual book when it comes to parenting yet it’s very difficult to be a parent.
We hope that this article may be helpful for you to prepare what’s best for your children in the long term.