It is so easy to forget that our kids are just kids. This may sound a bit ridiculous, but being so busy we often don’t take the time to remember they are not like us. They might speak really well and are able to put on their own shoes, but emotionally they still have a lot to learn. In the spur of the moment, we might blurt out something in utter frustration that may not seem too bad to us, but to a child, it can be dreadfully detrimental.
Every mom has those moments. Where everything is going wrong, everyone is screaming and you are needed everywhere. It is so easy to have a mini-meltdown and lose your cool. But as a mom, we need to remember that our children look up to us for approval and guidance. If we let the wrong words slip and say something we most probably don’t mean, it could shatter them.
It can be really tough in the heat of the moment, but we need to remember to keep our calm and react in the correct manner. The last thing you want to do is bring your child down. These phrases are so commonly said out of anger, but they need to be stopped. Before reacting, take a mental step back and think of the best way to handle a situation.
- I wish you were more like your brother! – This slips out quite easily sometimes. If one child is misbehaving and the other is not, this is our natural reaction. By saying this, you could be showing your child that you approve of one more than the other and that they do not measure up to their sibling. This increases the chances of low self-confidence in your child, and puts pressure on them to show up their siblings, or give up trying altogether. Instead, cool it down and rather try something along the lines of “look how well Jimmy is sitting, why don’t you see if you can sit as still?” This is not necessarily comparing the children but instead encourages good behavior.
- Don’t be shy – Some kids are born shy, it is just who they are. They will always be more reserved than others and will not enjoy the limelight as much as others might. Don’t force them into situations they aren’t comfortable with. This will make them feel more awkward, upset and possibly even deter them even further from social interaction. Having a shy child can also be a blessing in disguise. You can never keep your child too safe in today’s world, so having a kid that won’t walk up to strangers or engage in conversation is most probably a good thing. Let your child lead in situations like this, if they are not comfortable, back off.
- You are a naughty child – Discipline can be a good thing. It teaches our children that there are consequences for every action. However naughty they may be acting, never tell them “you are naughty!” This is categorizing them into one type of behavior, all the time. By doing this, you are insinuating that being naughty is all that they are capable of. Instead rather use “what you did was very naughty, I know you are a good child so I am surprised and upset by your actions”. By saying this you are still letting them know that what they have done is wrong, but you are once again encouraging good behavior and instilling the thought that they are “good”.
- I wish you would leave me alone for 5 minutes! – To your child, you are everything. They don’t really have a life outside of you yet. They still depend on you for mostly everything, and love being around you. It is easy to become overwhelmed, but avoid saying this in front of your child. They will feel unwanted, and as if them being around you isn’t always okay. Instead, quietly ask your partner for a little break while he watches the kids. This way nobody lands up with hurt feelings, and you get a little rest.
It can be very difficult not to blurt things out in the heat of the moment. While we always have our kids best intentions at heart, we are human. Mistakes happen and emotions overwhelm us. Try and slowly incorporate coping mechanisms for when things are heated, step back and think before you speak.
We need to protect our children from any harsh words, and instead, use phrases that will encourage good behavior and keep everyone happy.