Your child's malleable mind is formed by how you, their siblings and close ones treat them. So, choose your words carefully. Words once said cannot be taken back. Your well-thought out words teach your child to think before they speak so they don't hurt someone's feelings intentionally or unintentionally.
This is called positive enforcement, and it can do wonders for your child's cognitive and social development. However, some seemingly positive comments can be harmful for your child. Here are five examples:
1. "Great" or "Good job" or "Job well done"
We often hear parents make generic remarks about a certain accomplishment that their child has made. However, we fail to realize that our child needs to feel that sense of achievement and not just be praised or complimented for formality's sake.
Being more specific by categorically stating what exactly makes you so proud of them can drastically boost their morale. For example, you could tell your child "You have beautiful handwriting," or "I like how you have expressed yourself so well here."
These remarks will tell your child precisely what was it that he/she did well and they in turn will make an effort to stay consistent.
2. "Come on quick" or "Make it quick" or "Hurry up"
Constantly telling your child to hurry up or speed up their progress in whatever they may be doing whether they are having lunch (after a long tiring day at school), doing their homework or tidying their room. You should let your child work at their own pace and do the task at hand in a way that seems most convenient to them.
Pushing your child to get done with something hastily can spoil the matter and even create an environment of stress and panic, making them nervous or irritable. Imagine you doing an extremely important office task and your supervisor is on your head telling you to hurry up. Yes! There you got your answer.
3. "NO! You can't have it because we can't afford it."
Refusing your child something by telling them you can't afford it gives a very negative impression. Obviously you want your child to grow up knowing his limits and not have a habit of spending too lavishly. However, there is a way of going about telling your child the realities of life and how to adopt a practical approach towards life.
Not getting your child his favorite toy due to it being expensive can harbor feelings of jealousy in his heart for his friend who has it. So instead of turning down the demand blatantly and harshly you can teach your child how to budget their money from a young age. This way you will also instill a good habit in the process.
4. "I'm so done with you."
Displaying feelings of being fed up with your kids can develop feelings of loneliness, rejection and may even disturb their sleeping patterns due to a perplexed mind. Knowing the importance of a good night's sleep for your child, you should avoid such sweeping statements that may affect their cognitive health. Your child may go into his/her shell and may lose that emotional connection with people.
5. "Why can't you be like your brother/sister?"
There, there! You've said the ultimate statement that can wreak havoc inside your child. Comparing one of your children to another sibling can be harmful for his psychological and personality development as he/she may feel unworthy or incapable of doing something that will make their parents happy. You may feel that portraying a fellow sibling as a role model can help them take inspiration from, but you may be completely wrong. This is the time when sibling rivalry aggravates and adds fuel to the flames. Children hate being compared to their siblings and it often results in stubbornness and an even further negative attitude.