Things I Never Say In Front Of My Son

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.

Things You Should Never Say To Your Child Or In Front Of Them

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.

  • You have a lot of self control, but I guess that is needed to inculcate the right behavior and social signals in kids. I like the point about not demonizing the school or food.

    • Reema Sahay

      Thank you Prasad. You can say I have been careful about a few things but there are still millions of other things to think about. So many things are such deeply embeded in our systems that many times we don’t even realise our slip-ups.

  • Falak Randerian

    Well said Reema…. I have changed my outlook the way I speak my thought process et al…. after Z was born. Talking of school…. in our house it works differently. If Z wants to stay up late I jist have to say “You want to go to school tomorrow right?” And she’s ready for bed. 🙂

    • Reema Sahay

      Indeed Falak, so many things have changed. Since my son is just about to start his school [from Jan] I am very particular about creating a positive picture about it as far as possible. Just keeping my fingers crossed that all will be well.

  • Archana Selvam

    Very true…. Well said, once we have our curious little listener/observer around we need to watch out on our words and behavior. Even a simple word or act counts.

    • Reema Sahay

      Yes and they learn the things, practice and throw them at us at unlikeliest of times. I had a funny incident recently when my almost two and half year old said “are you kidding me!”. It was incredibly funny but it did give us a reality check about how he is going to reflect our own words. I notice a good thing about him. He uses ‘please’ a lot and all the time. I never taught him. We use it ourselves all the time.
      Thank you for dropping by Archana 🙂

  • Reema Sahay

    You are right. My son is just about to step out of the security of home in coming days, when he starts Playschool. I don’t know what kind of messages he will receive outside and how much he will replay. So much of damage control will have to be done!
    Thank you for dropping by Veena 🙂

  • Hi Reema, I completely agree about what you wrote about appearance. I would like to add here that i don’t intend to categorize at all. so many kids grow up with imagery of people of certain religions or communities being a certain way. i normally don’t have too many biases and will ensure that i don’t ever mention biases in front of my son.
    with regards to appearances it’s shocking how many people speak to little girls especially “ONLY” about appearance and how pretty she is looking today etc.

    • Reema Sahay

      Aloka, I know what you mean. And I am conscious about it too. I never typecast people on the basis of their region, religion or community. Honestly speaking, we have so much of garbage internalized within us [because of all kinds of messages we have received from every where] that it is necessary to be on guard.
      Thank you for reading this 🙂

  • Reema Sahay

    Fingers crossed 🙂