Parenting with Grace is challenging me daily to be more conscious of what I say to my children to make sure that what I say does not wound or influence the way they view themselves and the world. One of my main love languages is words of affirmations, I know how words affect my world, one of the gifts of kindness I prayerfully give to my little blessings is speaking gently with them.
Some of the things I don’t say to them are and 4 things I say instead:
1. “Stop crying, you’ll be fine”
Instead, I gently ask questions that allow them to share their emotions and validate their feelings. Asking questions shows kids that you are concerned about their well-being, it also aids in their ability to communicate, express themselves, and solve problems. I find that it helps me know how to help them
2. “You never listen to me”
I have also come to realize that my little blessings tend to have very selective listening skills, what I say sometimes goes in one ear and out on the other as soon as I am done so that challenges to change the way I communicate with them. Instead of telling them that they don’t listen and keep on repeating myself, I empower them when I communicate by providing information, educating them, for example, my son has a tendency of jumping up on the couches, chairs, almost everything that is meant for sitting, so I remind him “Owe couches are meant to be used for sitting.” I find that this approach gives mama peace of mind.
I also give them choices and explain my expectations.
3. “I’m disappointed in you”
I am a firm believer of the notion that a careful choice of words can either strengthen or weaken family relations, therefore I make an effort to avoid using the word ‘disappointed’ to strengthen my relationships with my children.
It is important to maintain our composure as parents and resist the desire to blame our children for our feelings. Instead of reacting irrationally in response to anything your child does or says, “I don’t like it when you do that,” and explain why.
4. “Big girls/boys don’t do that”
“Big girls/boys don’t cry or don’t get scared”
“Don’t be a baby”
“Be a big boy or girl”
These may seem harmless, however, I feel they are dismissive and may make a child feel as though they are not intelligent, it invalidates and their feelings are not respected. I believe regardless of a child’s age, all children do feel terrified and they can cry just like we adults do.
Is there anything you feel should never be said to children? Or do you feel something on this list is okay to say to children? Leave a comment down below