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7 Things to Stop Saying to Your Kids Right Now

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:35 AM
  • 8 Replies

7 Things to Stop Saying to Your Kids Right Now

There's no way to guarantee that you're going to raise a perfect kid, but there are definitely some things you can do that will ruin your chances. High up on that list are the things you can say that will mess with your kid's mind and put them through psychological stress they won't even know they're going through. They're kids. They're malleable. You've got to be aware that it's easy to harm them ... sometimes without even realizing you're doing it.

We know that sometimes parenting can feel like barreling through a minefield full of ways to ruin your children for life, and in general, just being mindful of what you're saying is enough to keep them safe. But there are some phrases you should avoid at all costs if you want to save them from psychological complexes that could trap them long-term.

Here's what you should NEVER say to your kids:

  1. "You're special." When praise becomes too frequent or too exaggerated, it can actually be pretty bad for kids ... especially those with low self-esteem. It turns out all that praise ("That drawing is really beautiful") makes kids feel like they have standards to meet (consistently drawing well), and then they're less likely to challenge themselves and risk making mistakes down the line. Also, this might be obvious, but too much praise makes them more narcissistic.
  2. "Those veggies are good for you." Sorry, Mom! Even as early as age 3, kids have figured out that healthy food often tastes bad -- or not as good as candy, anyway. When you tell them that broccoli is good for them, researchers have found they assume it's gross ... even if it's rather tasty!
  3. "You're smart." Kids who hear how smart they are all the time start to believe it. While that's not bad on its own, scientists say kids who hear it too often start relying on their intelligence instead of effort, and they're less likely to try things they're not naturally good at.
  4. "You're fat." Girls who reported being called fat by their family members by age 10 were 60 percent more likely to be obese in 10 years. Sixty percent. Telling them they're fat won't make them skinnier ... and it'll probably just unload a heap of psychological and esteem issues onto them, too.
  5. "I'm too busy." On average, working parents spend less than 10 minutes a day talking to their children. And before you say it: No, stay-at-home parents aren't much better, though their number is closer to 30 minutes. This lack of communication affects the way kids' brains are wired and it makes developing deep relationships harder for them later in life. Texting doesn't count -- drop the iPhone and sit and have a conversation with your kids.
  6. "You're the shy/gifted/troublesome one." Kids -- the younger ones especially -- will generally believe most things they hear. Assigning them labels, whether they're good or bad, pigeonholes them from a young age and makes them less comfortable with growing and changing themselves. It also makes them more likely to become what you're telling them they are ... so if you tell her she's a troublemaker, she's going to be more likely to get in trouble.
  7. "I'm on a diet." An overwhelming amount of kids' behavior comes from their parents, and eating habits and body image are no exception. By telling them you're not happy with your body, you're encouraging them to question theirs. Not to mention that growing bodies won't react well to no-carb or low-calorie diets. So if you're watching your waist, keep it to yourself.

Are there any things you avoid saying to your kids at all costs?

 

Image via DigitalFabiani/shutterstock

by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:35 AM
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Replies (1-8):
Bookwormy
by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 7:53 AM
1 mom liked this
There's no way to avoid my DD knowing that I'm on Weight Watchers. I was morbidly obese and I'm striving for a healthy weight. It's taking years. I'm not fond of family secrets & it's a lifestyle change for me. However, I've been exceedingly clear that I'm doing it for health reasons & not for appearances, which is true. Further, when I was sick & lost weight too quickly, I explained to her why I wasn't happy about this either. It is all about being healthy, which is what I want for all three of us.
ljmom24
by Gold Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 8:15 AM
I spend way more then 10 min a day talkingto my life. Unless yelling at them or reminding them to do stuff or the time we spend stuck in traffic on way home asking how their day went doesn't count.
ljmom24
by Gold Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 8:20 AM
1 mom liked this
I have to say I have a mom who was always on a dirt trying this or that and it did affect me but not my sister. I do think it's l as about dieting more about healthy lifestyle changes. Think if my mom made lifetime changes not just craze diets my views on it would have been different. Good luck with your lifestyle changes and I wouldn't hide them from my kids. Now if I was Tina toothpick and was always going on a diet I get it sends the wrong imagine but I'm franny far butt so I think my kids need to see me eat heartier to see the collation to food and weight.

Quoting Bookwormy: There's no way to avoid my DD knowing that I'm on Weight Watchers. I was morbidly obese and I'm striving for a healthy weight. It's taking years. I'm not fond of family secrets & it's a lifestyle change for me. However, I've been exceedingly clear that I'm doing it for health reasons & not for appearances, which is true. Further, when I was sick & lost weight too quickly, I explained to her why I wasn't happy about this either. It is all about being healthy, which is what I want for all three of us.
toriandgrace
by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 8:25 AM
I hate these posts. It's important to teach kids what foods are healthy, sometimes you are too busy, sometimes you need to change your diet to be healthier (as bookwormy pointed out so well), and while other things need to be said in moderation, there's nothing wrong with telling your child you think they are smart and special. I will agree telling kids they are fat it's not really a good idea.
wakymom
by Ruby Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 8:48 AM
1 mom liked this

 I don't like lists like this. I think it's possible to say most of that stuff w/o it negatively affecting your kids, especially if you reword it. I try to watch my wording and tell my kids they are acting like a brat, but sometimes I slip and say "You are being a brat."

 And some of them, well, what else are you going to tell your kids when they ask "Why do I have to eat my veggies?" I'm sure there is a list somewhere that says telling your kid "Because I said so" is also bad for them.

No parent is perfect. Most parents put enough guilt on themselves for things they do/say and don't do/say. Do we really need lists like this to make us feel worse?

 

 

 

 

WallFlower0x
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 9:26 AM
I don't care to follow lists like these, I will praise my child for the work they do, whether it be a drawing or school work, I don't think they'll turn into narcissists lmao, they'll be proud of the work they did.

I tell my 2.5 your daughter she's beautiful all the time, because I really think she's the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen :P

You've gotta be some special kind of stupid to tell your child he/she is fat.
aetrom
by Gold Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 4:54 PM
I spend plenty of time criticizing/correcting their work that you better believe I am going to praise what I like. Teaching them to make good choices (it's healthy and tastes good). Let them know I am too busy so they know if they give ne 10 minutes now they get 30 later... And with a happy mommy. I mean if all you did was what was on this list then yeah... Problems. But seriously?
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cybcm
by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 4:59 PM
How do you live in a house with someone and only talk to them for 10 minutes?
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