Being mindful means being aware about the situation and being aware about your reactions to the situations. The most ideal situation is certainly when you are completely mindful and in control.
I don’t think any parent is that perfect, but here are a few things which I am absolutely clear of never saying in front of my son:
Anything related to appearance: Like most women, I am never happy with my body but I never ever say anything in front of my son. I don’t even ask my husband the quintessential ‘if-I-am-looking-fat’ question in front of my son. I also never comment on other people’s looks or skin colour or appearance in front of him. I never use the term ‘good-looking’ to him either, instead I tell him he is ‘adorable’. I have been guilty of using the term ‘cute’ sometimes, but usually it is meant for his actions rather than his looks.
Saying anything bad about School: During one of those challenging days, I am tempted to tell my son ‘wait till you go to school’ or ‘do you want me to send you to school?’ But I stop myself. Especially at this juncture when he is enthusiastic about starting school, I would not want to spoil it by making it sound like school is some kind of punishment. When a friend casually questioned him if he knew he would have to cut his hair and clip his nails for school, I even stopped her. Nothing of that sort is going to happen right away [in Playschool]. Moreover, we don’t want to associate clipping nails or hygiene-related things with ‘school’.
Bad-mouthing any kind of Food: I never say anything bad about any kind of food except of course junk food. So, if I don’t like any particular fruit, I would skirt the issue saying I don’t feel like eating it at that time. I even stop the husband to make faces while eating some vegetables he does not like [which I always sneak in ‘mixed vegetables’ or ‘sambhar’… ha ha]. Of course, if the toddler genuinely does not want to eat something, I don’t force him but I insist that he taste the food before rejecting it.
Bad-mouthing anyone: I don’t want my child to develop certain perceptions about other people according to what I say. It has happened to us so many times, when we have created perceptions from what we have heard of other people, especially from our family and close friends. I believe my child should develop his own equations with people in our lives.
As he will grow older, I am sure this list will grow longer. I am keen to know about the things you are conscious of never saying in front of your kids.
Reema Sahay is a Stay-At-Home-Mom, Freelance Writer, Voracious Reader, Passionate Blogger, Social Media Enthusiast, Internet Junkie and Ex-Marketing Communication Professional. She spends her days running after her very curious toddler, ‘the star’, and catching up on books when he naps. She writes about charms and challenges of life at Pen Paper and shares her passion for books at Recommend Books. She sometimes feels that her 5.5 years stint in Marketing Communication was in another life.