Our parents are everything we have when we are born, they are our support, guidance, and safety. We are all human and we all make mistakes. But to the mind of a child, being a parent is something a lot more than being just a human.
What parents do and how they behave becomes a crucial part of the children’s psyche and that is because children think of their parents as its creators, its caretakers, and its guardians.
The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice!
When we are young, our brain has a lot more neural connections and it absorbs almost everything that happens around us with a purpose to better adapt to its surroundings. But as we grow up it holds on only to the most used neural connections and it gets rid of everything which we don’t commonly use. The voice of our parents is something that gets integrated deeply into our psyche and it becomes our inner voice.
The way they speak to us becomes the way our inner voice speaks to us, the way we speak to ourselves.
If our parents are angry while they speak to us, if they act in a harsh and cold way, if they shout and yell at us whenever we do something wrong, that is the way how we will deal with ourselves whenever we make a mistake. But it is okay to make mistakes because we are after all only humans. But the way we approach our mistakes is how we learn and overcome them.
How to speak to your child?
By trying new things we may sometimes make a mistake, but the inner voice that can be insulting can make us feel worthless whenever we make a mistake. Our greatest support, guide, and motivator in life can be the friendly inner voice which is why it is crucial that you speak to your child with kindness, love, and honesty even if your child makes a mistake, or does something wrong. Doing this, you will develop a voice inside their head which will support them in life, even when you are not going to be there for them.
Or at least you can try to avoid saying these phrases which are damaging to the developing character of a child.
- Stop crying right now!
When children do something for which they will be punished for it, they start crying, even if there is no reason. But that’s the way they express their feelings. If you say to them to stop crying, they will think it is best to suppress their emotions.
It is best if you kindly say to them: “It’s ok to cry sweety, it’s ok to show how you feel. But that doesn’t make what you did a right thing to do.” You need to hug your child and explain why the thing they did is wrong.
- You are worthless;
This is the worst thing to say to your child, especially because they expect your approval. If you say this, your child will never stop seeking approval from the outside world. You need to help them find their own worth inside, not to let them believe they have nothing inside to find.
Instead of saying to them that they are worthless, you can say to them: “You can do better!”, “Nobody is perfect.”, “It’s not your day and you will do better next time.”
- Big boys/girls don’t get scared!
You are lying to your children when you say this to them because you are more frightened than they are, and do not force them to reject what they are feeling. Fear reminds us all to be careful when we need to be. You need to face the fear and be aware of it and learn from the fear because real courage is facing your fear.
You need to tell your kid this: “It’s ok to be scared, buddy. All of us are scared sometimes. But I know there is courage inside of you that will help you do the right thing even if you are scared. You are my little hero!”
- I am disappointed in you!
If you feel bad, do not tell this to your child because it is selfish to try to make them feel responsible for your disappointment. You can be disappointed in many things, in a friend, in a movie, or the politics of your country, but don’t be disappointed in your child because you are there to let them on the right path. You need to guide them back if they do something wrong.
Don’t tell them that you are disappointed, tell them this: “What you did is wrong, in my opinion. And I believe you made an honest mistake. Even if you chose to do what you did, I can assure you’ll realize it’s wrong after I explain. I know you can do better!”
- You are not (something) enough!
If you say this to your children, you are showing them a restricted image of themselves. With these words, you are implying that there is something they lack in order for them to do what they love or be whom they want to be.
All you have to say to your kid is this: “You are enough to be or do what you love. But sometimes we all need to train or practice something before, in order to grow that way.”