Being a parent is difficult and so is coming off as a proud child. It’s only human to give vent to your rage by using harsh words. However, when the recipient of your outrage is your own child, it might have uncertain and unmanageable repercussions.
We list 9 insensitive things that you should avoid saying to your child.
1. I was much more responsible when I was your age
Comparing your child and giving him an example of what all you were capable of when you were a kid is the first big mistake parents make. Their irritation stems from ‘expectations’ – expectations of bringing up the ‘perfect’ kid. Try and recall your shortcomings as a child and what all troubles you bothered your parents with. You are the elder one in the relationship hence you ought to know more. A statement such as this will break your child’s confidence.
2. You always end up taking wrong decisions
Don’t penalize your kid for being immature. Everyone is allowed to make mistakes and it is in fact a part of the learning process. He might have taken up a field of study that doesn’t interest you or perhaps working with a company that you’re not very proud of, but that doesn’t mean you accuse him of the decisions. Your job as a parent is to guide him, not force him to obey your opinions.
3. Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?
This is once again an unreasonable comparison and a common one at that. Avoid seeding in animosity between your children by comparing their abilities. Doing so may create a fissure between the siblings. You don’t want your kid to harbour negative feelings for you, hence avoid assessing your kids.
4. Leave me alone!
Adults have huge responsibilities to take care of, responsibilities that children are innocently oblivious of. And there are times when we want to be left alone too. Kids are incapable of understanding the gravity of such situations. An impatient outburst of ‘Leave me alone!’ can make your child feel neglected, unwanted and depressed at the same time. Show some patience and avoid saying something bad to him.
5. You should be ashamed of yourself
This statement is outright harsh and saying such an awful thing to any child is simply ‘bad’. Yes, there are mischievous kids who go about pestering people with a devil-may-care attitude but that does not mean you reprimand him like this. There are better and milder ways to make the child understand the difference between good and bad.
6. You’re just like your father/mother
Not all married couples are happy living together and the bitterness in their relationship often translates into exchange of unkind words against each other. Some relationships end in separation too. Either ways, kids are a witness to this mutual hostility and criticism. So when you shower your partner’s animosity on your kid, that’s when he begins to lose respect.
7. You always find ways to hurt me
There are times when children hurt their parents’ sentiments by going against their wishes. Most times it is unintentional but there are kids who do so on purpose. However, saying something like the above statement would make your child feel guilty about his/her decision. He might comply with your demands to make you happy but you’d be taking away his right to happiness in the long run. Let your children take their own decisions and let them live a guilt-free life.
8. It’s better to be childless than have a kid like you
The above statement is mostly an extreme emotional outburst but can have grave consequences on the kid. Unquestionably, it is the most hurtful thing you can ever say to your child. No matter what the crisis is, saying something like this could make you regret for life.
9. Get rid of the bad company of your friends
We (read adults) don’t think before making friends. Neither do children. The only difference is that we know how to stay away from bad company and children don’t. Their friends mean the world to them and therefore you cannot just order them to get a new set of ‘good’ friends.