Which Words Can Mentally Damage Your Kids? Don’t Say These Things Any More!
Kids are fragile and they have fragile brains. Few words or phrases can mentally damage your kids.
We often ignore the fact that children’s brains are physically and mentally more fragile. Psychologists liken a child’s brain to impressionable and soft play-doh. Harsh words that Jimmy’s dad could shrug off might stay with his son for years.
Those seemingly harmless words might affect his psychological development far into his adult life.
These are 5 harmful phrases that can mentally damage your kids and that kids hear too often.
“You are so sensitive.”
Many children, according to psychologists, simply are born with a more finely tuned nervous system. As a result, they react intensely and quickly to just about everything. Parents of these kids often make the mistake of trying to wash that sensitivity out.
Over time, this throws the child’s brain chemistry out of wack and reduces their ability to empathize with others. After all, if they’re taught that their emotions don’t matter, why would they think anyone else’s do?
Elinor Bashe, child psychologist, encourages parents to listen to and accept a child’s emotions, even if they don’t seem logical.
“Well, that’s life.”
When your kid comes home upset because their crush rejected their dance request, it can be tempting to say, “ That’s life, honey.” What that phrase suggests is, “Hey – your experience here is nothing unique, so suck it up.”
That might be totally appropriate to say to a 25 year-old under the same circumstances. But a child’s brain is physically unable to grasp the fact that their experiences are not unique. When you tell them that, they’ll feel frustrated, guilty and confused.
Instead, you should validate their experience and then encourage resiliency.
3. “Because I said like that.” – expression that can mentally damage your kids
I get it. Your little sweaty refuses to go to sleep at 8 pm unless he knows why. His mom, exasperated goes, “You wanna know why? Because I said so.”
That is a horrible response. It tends to build resentment in children because it forces them to accept a dogmatic belief. This will inevitably lead to a power struggle when that child learns to come up with answers on their own that question their parents’ authority.
Instead, why don’t you just answer the question? The parenting decisions find their basis in logic. So why not share that with your child?
It will surely help them understand that, sometimes, authority really does know best.
4. “Shut up.”
Kids learn from a very little that the phrase ‘shut up’ is an insult. And let’s face it – the last person who should be insulting a child is their parent. Now, chances are you’ve got a very good reason for telling your child to ‘shut up.’
That reason is likely that you’re overwhelmed. Of course, it happens. But instead of telling them to shut up, why not explain that – hey, mommy had a long day and she’d really appreciate some quiet?
Better still, give your child a chance to make all the noise they want and tell them that at ‘X’ time, they need to be quiet.