WARNING: This video contains content that is going to make you realize that so many things you are saying to your child are wrong. You have been warned. You probably won’t feel great after this video. But think of it as an intervention or a new beginning. We all want our kids to thrive and do well. Unfortunately, some of the things we say to our kids are doing more harm than good.
Here are 9 things you should NEVER say to your child and what you should say instead:
#1 What not to say: “I’m So Proud of You”
Instead say: “You should be proud of yourself”. Your child should not be looking to someone else for approval. We want to teach them to have that feeling from within…for themselves.
#2 What not to say: “You are bad”.
Instead say: “You made a bad choice” or “your behavior right now is not acceptable”. When you say “you are bad” they hear that they are a bad person. This is not what we want them to hear.
#3 What not to say: “Stop Crying”
Instead say: “I can see you are really upset. Why are you crying? Let them have emotion and be empathetic towards them. If you need some help with empathy, watch our video episode 18 (The secret to parenting).
#4 What not to say: “We can’t afford that”
Instead say: “We choose not to spend our money on that” Always coming from a place of scarcity is not good. Instead we want to teach them that we make choices on how we spend our money.
#5 What not to say: “Why can’t you be more like your brother?”
Instead say: I really appreciate the way you treat other people. Pick out something positive that they do and re-enforce that. Never compare them to siblings or other people.
#6 What not to say: “You’re okay”
Instead say: That looks like it really hurts you. Can I get you some ice? If they fall or get hurt, don’t negate their feelings. If you got hurt, does someone saying “don’t worry about it, your ok make you feel any better? No.
#7 What not to say: “Great job”
Instead say: “You worked really hard at this. You should be proud of yourself.” Again this is praise that we want to avoid them requiring from the outside.
#8 What not to say: “Because I said so”.
Instead say: “I know you really wanted to play but it’s time for dinner.” The famous because i said so. Be specific of your request and then offer them a solution: Do you want to maybe play with him tomorrow?
#9: What not to say: “You Make Me So Mad”
Instead say: I’m feeling frustrated right now and need to handle this better.
Your child is not responsible for your emotions. Yes they know how to find the right buttons to push. But you need to show them that someone else doesn’t determine how you feel. You get to decide how you feel. Hopefully you learned a few new ways to talk with your child.