If you’re angry with your child, don’t say a word without first considering the impact it’s going to have on your child. Children sure know how to get on your nerve, but you must control your emotions and get your point across in a rational manner without doing any damage to the emotional development of your children.
Angry on not, stressed out by Naija traffic or wahala, here are five things a mother must not be caught saying to her children, no matter how upset she is:
1. You are a mistake!
One of the most deadly sin of parenting is telling your child that his/her birth stole your life away, whether you are a single mother or married mother who had an unwanted pregnancy; don’t transfer your bitterness and resentment to your child. Getting pregnant and having the child is totally your decision so take responsibility for it. No matter what a child has done, don’t ever say he/she is a waste of space or that you should have had an abortion when you had the chance. It is a hurtful thing that no child should hear. It makes them feels like an intruder that disrupted your life and not worthy of love.
2. Why Can’t You Be More Like Your Sister
If you think your child isn’t doing so well, help the child out in a constructive way. Comparing them to others can destroy their self esteem, make them fatally competitive and even damage their relationship with the child you are comparing them to. They could also think that they can only get your approval when they are like someone else and that you don’t love them for who they are. Help your children see the beauty in their own uniqueness by focusing on each individual without using comparisons, when you compare them to others you are indirectly telling them they are not good enough and if they internalize that as a core belief it can lead to undesirable behaviors in the future.
3. Your Father is Good For Nothing
As much as you would want to, you need to bite your tongue on this one. Do not speak negatively about your husband or your children’s father to them. If you are having problems with your spouse talk to an adult don’t put that burden on your children, they are kids and they can’t fully understand complex adult issues. Don’t let them have to worry for you, it will hurt the children and paint negative pictures about relationships to them at any early age. Knowing that their parents are not at peace can also make them fearful and insecured.
As they grow older, they will become much more aware of what is going on, and if your partner really hurt you, they will find out one day anyway. Spare them the headache when they are still young.
4. You should be ashamed of yourself / I am ashamed of you
You can tell your children you are disappointed in their behavior and make them sober for what they have done without shaming them into feeling guilty. There are times when shaming works and produces the behavior we want from a child, but most times it comes along with the feeling of inferiority that can last a life time. The children will carry on the message of “I am wrong,” “I’m not enough,” and “I can never do anything right.”
One act of indiscipline from your children is not enough for you to be ashamed of them or to make them feel ashamed of themselves. We all make mistakes and the important thing is accepting correction, they should never be defined by the mistakes they have made. You don’t even want your children to think you will love them less when they make mistakes.
5. You Are Dumb, You Are So Stupid …
You hurt your child’s feelings every time you use negative words to describe them. Even if the child acts silly often, don’t tag the child as silly. Being called names continuously can leave the child truly believing that he or she is worthless and defective, and they may carry that feeling into adulthood. If you call your child clumsy and stupid every day, what are the chances that the child will stop acting stupid? The child will simply believe he or she can’t be smart like other kids and stop trying to succeed. So if you call your children dumb they are really going to think they are dumb.
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