Most children are vulnerable and very impressionable when growing up. The mind of a child is very delicate and adults often inadvertently affect the inner workings of a child’s development cycle. According to James P. Comer, a professor of child psychology at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Centre, a child’s healthy psychological development includes a good deal of self esteem and self awareness, with an ability to manage his or her emotions.
It is not plain abuse both verbal and physical that can damage the feelings of competence and self worth in a child, the simple things like repetitive statements and regular verbal haranguing may damage a child irreparably. You cannot disregard the emotions in a child and affect the way they deal with their thoughts and feelings. Your responses always affect the child in more than one way. You should not create a false paradigm in a child that may affect him or her in times of emotional distress. Personal and interpersonal interactions ought to be rethought when it comes to parenting a child. Here are the common 9 things parents say to their children that can damage:
1_ “You are sensitive”:
You should stop telling kids that they are over reacting or are too sensitive. Our emotional coping mechanism are complex and each different from the other. It is damaging to suggest a child that they should suppress their emotions and you should encourage them to understand the cause of the feelings and resolve the mental turmoil in a healthy way, allowing for sensitivity and grace.
2_ “This is life”:
This is a phrase that is used all the time by peers and parents alike, when they are confronting bad times and emotional turmoil. As a parent, you should be able to stop evaluating the situation for the child and try to ease it instead. Blanket statements are not too good at resolving turmoil. This could be psychologically damaging and very unnerving or upsetting for the child to get over this phase. You inadvertently train the child to simply accept the uncomfortable and disturbing situation as “part of life” and hinder his or her healthy outlook on life.
3_ “Stop Crying!”
The Aware Parent Institute has come up with a revelation, that most children cry to not show that their hurt but the fact that they are gradually becoming unhurt. But experts suggest that we should allow for the child to cry in peace for the long term emotional peace and psychological growth. In fact, asking a child to stop crying may be akin to seeing a cut stop bleeding on its own without medication. It may be noise that the child creates while crying, but it is an impactful experience that rids him or her from bad emotions.
4_ “Because I said so”
This is a very popular response that adults use when they want to shut a child’s questions or his insistence on an answer. This kind of a statement implies that the adult is always in control of the situation and any type of curiosity and questioning is very irrelevant and not worthy of any address. This also passively tells a child that his or her internal conflicts and questions are not worth any explanation and outward exploration is unnecessary. Instead, if a child asks questions, it is imperative for the parent to comprehend and answer, understand and not dominate the child.
5_ Why can’t you be like a cousin or a sibling and a classmate?
Most parents fall into the trap of competition that is plaguing us in society. Every child is meant to outdo the other and come up successful in life. There are many times, that parents often compare their children to next-door neighbor’s son or even the classmate at school. There often lies an emotional suppression and trauma that damage their personality traits and shakes their confidence to the core. Most children are unable to develop their own personality traits and believe aping someone or even replicating their success will satisfy parents.
6_ Shut up:
This commonly used phrase can do a lot of damage than usual. This displays that the adult is unable to respond to the child and his queries. He or she maybe just plain refuses the child when it comes to a query or a plea. This shut down command can psychologically affect the child and quell his emotional well being.
7_ “You are making me crazy “:
This is an unhealthy phrase that uses the guilt in a child to motivate him or her to change behaviour. Our kids maybe driving us crazy, but we should not verbalize this in an unedited fashion and worsen the thought process and the feeling of ownership in a child. Worse still, children feel they are the cause of the problems in others and develop a low self confidence.