I have been a parent for just over 2 years now, and though I am not saying I don’t ever yell at Baby G, I know I try not to. Even when I do yell, because sometimes you just go crazy, I say things like PUT THAT AWAY! or DON’T EAT THE BLANKET!
I have a list of things that I never want to yell at any kid, and I think no one should. It’s one thing to try and teach the kids something, and totally another to sabotage the kid’s self esteem by cruel words. Here’s the list every parent should avoid, no matter how rough a day it was, or how parenting-work-balance is driving you mad today.
Never, ever, say:
1. Shut up – Never ask the kid to shut up because you are on the phone or working on a tricky presentation or have a killer headache. If you need the quiet, distract the kid by something else or politely suggest that you need to concentrate for a while. Of course they won’t listen or understand, but the habit will form and eventually they will. Telling kids to shut up is a wrong message we send to them. Let them express themselves, and handle the situation in some other way. Encourage kids to speak up, one day you’ll be thankful for it.
2. What the hell is wrong with you? – Again, sending a wrong message. You want to strengthen their self esteem while they are young, not ruin it with negative statements like this one. Look at things from the kid’s perspective, and then maybe you’ll understand. There is nothing wrong with kids, they are curious and pure-gold at heart, and there is no excuse for saying things like this to an innocent child. Instead, explain the right way and hope that one day they will know the difference.
3. Why can’t you be like (other kid/sibling)? – Everyone knows that comparison is the destroyer of all relationships, and when there’s a kid involved, the result is severe. It could damage the child’s self worth at a very early stage and might also lead to emotions like fierce competition and/or dislike for the ones they are constantly compared to. So, never compare. Every kid is an individual with a distinct personality. Learn to communicate with them accordingly. And wait. It will be okay with time.
4. Eat or I’ll punish you. OR Will You ever stop eating? – Both are wrong. Both statements, if repeated a lot, will end up giving a food complexes to the kid, also known as Eating Disorders, which are quickly becoming a big issue in our country. Food should not be forced, I know everyone tells us mothers this.The issue is when kids don’t eat to our satisfaction or in a few cases, eat more than we think is good for them. We need to figure out a different way for this because constantly nagging the kid about food is not healthy at all. Try some other approach, maybe? I am still figuring it out, so I know there are no instant solutions to this one – but let’s try not to make food a big deal that makes kids uneasy.
5. Mumma doesn’t love you because… you broke the centrepiece/ lost her jewellery/put paint on her expensive dress/scribbled on the walls/anything at all! Never say you don’t love them. It’s just not done.
Do you have a list of things that you would never say ti your child no matter what the situation? Do share in the comments section!
Aditi Mathur Kumar is the author of Westland’s celebrated book on the Army Wife life, Soldier & Spice: An Army Wife’s Life. Aditi was born on Feb the 14th and since then it has all been awkward for her. An ex-advertising girl, an irregular blogger, a fanatic Army Wife and a real-life social person, and a wannabe-supermom to Gauri, Aditi has now decided to write more. So far, so good. Stalk her at Monologue or @adicrazy on Twitter.