There is a well-known phrase that “The pen is stronger than the sword”, which is a way of saying that intelligence has more power than force. If we take this phrase to the field of education, in the same way that a well-managed dialogue relationship can help us raise a child without using force, the most hurtful words can do more damage than any slap.
For this post we are not going to use those, the ones that do the most damage, because you do not have to be very smart to know that insults or humiliations do not serve to educate , but we are going to mention those that we have heard so much, because they are habitual , we can come to think that they are not harmful to our children. These are 15 negative phrases that you have to stop saying to your children .
“You can’t. Come on, give me, I’ll do it”
Children, because they are children, do not have the skills and experience that adults have; that is to say, they are learning to do things, they are trying to gain autonomy and become more skilled and independent every day. For this they have to try to do things, they have to try them, and in this process, which can be slow, they will probably make mistakes from which they will have to learn.
If we always show up to finish what they start because we go faster that way, they can reach a time when they not only no longer want to try to do something , but directly ask us to do it ourselves, or demand it of us, convinced that they will do it wrong .
“You don’t have to cry”
Crying is the expression of a feeling of frustration, sadness, rage, anger…, which are intense emotions that, because they are negative, we tend to avoid, cancel or mask in what is a mistake that we as a society have been committing for years.
Just as joy is an emotion to which we give a lot of validity, all these emotions must also be taken into account, especially when children are young, so that they know them, so that they know how they appear, the reasons, and so that they can work them .
They say that a crisis is an opportunity to change, to modify something that has been done wrong, or is going wrong, and embark on a more positive path. Well, the crying of children is important because from there they can learn to manage the associated emotions and find a path that is more constructive than the desire for revenge, submission or surrender, to give a few examples.
“Can’t you do the same thing Fulanito does?”
Each child is unique and unrepeatable, and sending the message that someone has to take another child as an example is harmful to both, because it implies that one is better than the other.
Behavior and learning changes should come from the positive, working on those things that a child knows how to do well, from their strengths, enhancing those things that make them unique.
And when he does something wrong, tell him, but not because another child doesn’t, but because he shouldn’t .
“Are you sure you want to eat that?”
When a child is on a potentially unhealthy diet, or becomes a little overweight, many parents try to change habits by attacking the choices they think are wrong, not realizing that those choices are probably the wrong ones for them. It seemed bad for so many years.
They eat what is at home, so, in reality, the responsibility for them eating a food that we do not want them to eat is ours, for buying it, and because in reality we are the ones who have to convey the importance of a diversified and healthy diet. .
You’ll see when dad (or mom) comes
A very typical phrase from our childhood, when our mother let the one who put order in the house be “dad”. The problem is that two mistakes were made: we ended up feeling real panic for dad, who carried out a punishment for an action that had happened hours ago and that he had not witnessed, and we realized how little authority our mother had , who It showed us that he was not capable of controlling the situation.
“Don’t be exaggerated, it was nothing”
Similar to “don’t cry”, when a child hurts himself and cries, it is common for them to immediately tell him (again so that he doesn’t cry), that nothing is wrong, that it was nothing , they clean him up quickly and make him play as soon as possible. before.
But sometimes it has been something, and something has happened. Sometimes it really hurts them, they’ve been scared, they’ve been scared, and it doesn’t cost us anything to change to “Are you okay?” or to “Have you hurt yourself?”, which shows that he does care about what is happening to him, while we ask him to tell us what he feels at that moment, if he wants.
“I promise you” (when you know in advance that you are not going to comply)
It’s not that it’s bad per se. Giving our word that we will do something and sticking to it teaches children about commitment . The problem comes when we promise something that we don’t keep. The message that the child receives is disastrous, because we break his trust completely, and we imply that the commitments, or a promise, are not valid.
“That kid is an idiot”
Often when a child does something to our child, we tend to pass judgment on that child to show what is good behavior and what is bad behavior. So we say that he is “idiot” or “not right in the head.”
Thus, we are teaching him to insult and make the same judgments about those children who may do something with which they do not agree. Considering that they are his colleagues and/or friends, the ideal is that he himself is the one who reaches the appropriate conclusions. Better than saying “that boy is an idiot” is to say “And what do you think that he has done that?”, and from there build possible solutions: “And what do you think we could or could do?”.
“But how can you be scared?”
Fear can be limiting and totally irrational, so much so that no matter how much you explain to him why he shouldn’t fear something, he doesn’t listen to reasons. The fact that we are not afraid of something that another person is, does not mean that fear does not have a certain meaning. In the same way, we can be very afraid of something that another person finds ridiculous (needles, heights,…), and we should not be ridiculed or our suffering undervalued for that.
Well, the same thing happens with children. If you are afraid of something, we can work on it day by day, little by little, looking for a way to make it rational , to reflect and convince yourself that there is no reason to fear.
Ridiculing his fear, or telling him that the behavior is inconsistent, will do much less to overcome it, and worse, will make him feel that he is weak, that he is letting us down and that his problems are not important to us.
“I hate you too”
Children are capable of saying horrible things to us when they are angry with us. The problem is that many times they are not aware of the damage that their words can achieve, because they are testing, and we are the ones who add all the emotional charge to their words, often making us react by putting ourselves at their level.
In doing so, we become two children who argue like children , when the logical thing would be to try to raise their level towards ours so that they express things by focusing on the specific emotion: “I love you, but what you have done, dad, has not hurt me.” liked”.
Thus, the logical thing is to answer something like “well, I love you a lot and I will never stop loving you”, and then explain why it cannot be whatever it is that they want to achieve , and offer some alternative so that they do not become obsessed with it. in a spiral from which it is difficult to get out by themselves.
“Because I say so”
When we jump from authority to authoritarianism, we lose the ability to be fair and to deserve respect for our ability to educate them.
Although they told us very often: “Because I said so, period”, what causes learning is the explanation, the arguments and the subsequent reflection of the child who, whether or not he agrees, will at least have a justification for “Yes.” ” or “No”.
“¡Que te calles!”
In the same way that it is not a phrase that we say to any adult with whom we want to have a good relationship, our children do not deserve such an imperative either.
“If you don’t give one”
Or “Look, you’re useless”, which is another option, these are two phrases that do a lot of damage because you end up making the child believe that he really isn’t capable of doing what he should know how to do . Again, as we have mentioned above, children end up feeling that no matter how hard they try, they will not be able to do anything, and will easily give up when they have to do something, in a way that can damage their self-esteem for the rest of their lives. , or at least for a long time.
“Well, at your age…”
At their age, we did things better than them and others worse. What happens is that we tend to remember the best of our lives and forget those events that seem insignificant to us, but that could say a lot about us.
Often, a visit to the grandmother is enough for her to explain that in reality we, at her age, did things the same, or perhaps worse .
“Do not embarrass me”
Warning of something is a way of telling a child that you do not trust his chances of doing things well , or of having an appropriate behavior. Instead of explaining where you are going and what you expect from him, in a positive way: “We are going to a place where we have to be quite quiet, without raising our voices and without disturbing. I know you can do it, that’s why I’m going to explain it to you”, a lot people say the opposite: “As long as you behave badly, you find out”, “Don’t embarrass me” or “That I don’t have to punish you”.
Let’s say that it is better to educate from trust than from threats , basically because it is better to grow up thinking that your parents trust and believe in you, than thinking that for your parents the strange thing is that you can behave appropriately.