Children learn from observation and they learn a lot by observing their parents. So, take care what you say in front of your children. It can be damaging for children to hear their parents say harsh words to each other. There are a number of things you should never say in front of your children. Here are 10 of them.
1. Abusive words
Make a firm resolution that you will never use abusive language at home – even casually. Children aged 6–16 pick up such language very easily. They may not know the meaning or seriousness of the words, but they may think that it is cool to use them, especially if they hear you using them.
2. ‘You’ll never be able do that!’
These words destroy the budding confidence of your children. If you say words like these often to your children, they would lose their confidence and won’t dare to take the initiative to do anything. If they are struggling with something, try to help them do it or just point out where they need to improve.
3. ‘Why can't you be more like him?’
You may think that comparing your children with his peers will help them improve. However, such an approach can adversely affect their individuality. It can confuse and demotivate them.
4. ‘Shut up!’
This is rude. Just rude. The message you are sending to your children is that you will not give them a chance to explain their side of the story. This will not only make them retreat into a shell but will also make it difficult for them to express themselves freely.
5. ‘You are an idiot’
We all make mistakes. It is perfectly fine if your children do something wrong. All you need to do is make them understand where they went wrong and how to do it better the next time. But branding them as idiots will irrevocably damage their self-esteem.
6. ‘Life was easier before we had children’
Many of us make the mistake of lamenting to friends that life was much easier before the children came along. If your children hear you make such a comment, they may blame themselves for being a burden on you and start feeling unloved.
7. ‘Your teacher is an idiot!’
Remarks like these send the signal to your children that it is okay to disrespect their teachers. Not only that! This may boomerang on you some day when they turn around and say, “You don’t know what you are talking about!”
8. ‘You are fat’
Body shaming is a strict no-no. No matter what!
9. ‘If only my child behaved like yours’
Don’t let your children down in front of others. If you do, it will make them think very poorly of themselves.
10. ‘I don’t have time for you/Can’t you see I’m busy?’
You might really be busy and may not have the time to spend with your children. But surely, you can tell them this politely. All children need the attention of their parents. When they get the message that their parents have more important things to do than spend time with them, they could feel unwanted.
So, always watch what you say in front of your children. Don’t say anything that you would not want them to say to you or to anyone else.