7 Things You Shouldn't Say To Your Child from msn.com
"LEAVE ME ALONE" A parent who doesn't crave an occasional break is a saint, a martyr, or someone who's so overdue for some time alone she's forgotten the benefits of recharging. Trouble is, when you routinely tell your kids, "Don't bother me" or "I'm busy," they internalize that message . They begin to think there's no point in talking to you because you're always brushing them off. If you set up that pattern when your children are small, then they may be less likely to tell you things as they get older.
"You're So ____" Labels are shortcuts that shortchange kids: "Why are you so mean to Katie?" Or "How could you be such a klutz?" Sometimes kids overhear us talking to others: "She's my shy one." Young children believe what they hear without question, even when it's about themselves. So negative labels can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. "Klutzy" Sarah begins to think of herself that way, undermining her confidence. Even labels that seem neutral or positive -- "shy" or "smart" -- pigeonhole a child and place unnecessary or inappropriate expectations on her.
"Dont Cry" Variations: "Don't be sad." "Don't be a baby." "Now, now -- there's no reason to be afraid." But kids do get upset enough to cry, especially toddlers, who can't always articulate their feelings with words. They do get sad. They do get frightened. It's natural to want to protect a child from such feelings. But saying 'Don't be' doesn't make a child feel better, and it also can send the message that his emotions aren't valid -- that it's not okay to be sad or scared.
"Why Cant You Be More Like Your Sister" It might seem helpful to hold out a sibling or friend as a shining example. "Look how well Sam zips his coat," you might say. Or "Jenna's using the potty already, so why can't you do that too?" But comparisons almost always backfire. Your child is herself, not Sam or Jenna. It's natural for parents to compare their kids, to look for a frame of reference about their milestones or their behavior, say experts.
"Your Know Better Than That" Like comparisons, quick gibes can sting in ways parents never imagine. For one thing, a child actually may not have known better. Learning is a process of trial and error. Did your child really understand that a heavy pitcher would be hard to pour from? Maybe it didn't seem that full, or it was different from the one he's successfully poured from by himself at preschool.
"Stope Or I'll Give You SOmethign To Cry About" Threats, usually the result of parental frustration, are rarely effective. We sputter warnings like "Do this or else!" or "If you do that one more time, I'll spank you!" The problem is that sooner or later you have to make good on the threat or else it loses its power. Threats of hitting have been found to lead to more spanking -- which itself has been proven to be an ineffective way to change behavior.
"Wait Till Daddy Gets Home" This familiar parenting cliché is not only another kind of threat, it's also diluted discipline. To be effective, you need to take care of a situation immediately yourself. Discipline that's postponed doesn't connect the consequences with your child's actions. By the time the other parent gets home, it's likely that your child will actually have forgotten what she did wrong. Alternately, the agony of anticipating a punishment may be worse than what the original crime deserved. Passing the buck to someone else also undermines your authority. "Why should I listen to Mom if she's not going to do anything anyway?" your child may reason. Not least, you're putting your partner in an undeserved bad-cop role.