“Say hello to…”
This one is a thorny one for me, largely because I am guilty of saying it to my child, while simultaneously regretting it. While I think it is important to teach our children to interact with others in a way that is engaged and polite, making that engagement forced and compulsory is just not the way. By coercing our children into having conversations, or even greetings, with others we are telling them they are not in control of their social interactions and letting them know it is acceptable to tell others when and how to talk. Children develop their social abilities over time, and expecting them to comfortably and consistently conform to our social attitudes is a bit unrealistic. Instead, I would (and I try) to say something like, “This is Mr. Smith, and would you like to say hello right now?”
And there are others, like “You are so…” and “Just leave me alone!” These seem somewhat obvious to me and shouldn’t require too much explanation as to why they are not constructive ways to engage with your child. And there are likely so many more. What things do you often hear parents saying to children that you object to? Is there something you have said to your child in the past that you have changed, and if so, where the results positive? What encouraging and positive things can be said in place of some of the above negative comments?
Read more: Babies, Blogs, Caregiving, Children, Family, Love, Mental Wellness, Parenting at the Crossroads, Relationships, Stress, Teens, child behavior, child development, encouragement, punishment, taboo
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