Fathers are always very special to their children. Most children look up to their dads as their role models, their ultimate superheroes. Being a father is not an easy task, it has its fair share of challenges, but it is also an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience.
What makes parenting exceptionally challenging is that young kids are very impressionable, and, a lot of what you say and do will shape their personality and behavior in the future!
What are the things that dads should never say to their kids?
- “There is no way you will ever be able to achieve that”
- “You are so stupid”
- “You are so much more privileged than I was”
- “I do so much for you/ I spend so much money on you”
- “A or B got so much better grades than you”
It is very important that you keep control over your temper and not say things that might not have the desired effect on your child. Let us shed some light on a few of the things that you must never say to your children.
“There is no way you will ever be able to achieve that”
Such a statement will negatively impact your child’s self-esteem. Moreover, telling them that they are incapable of doing something, even before they have actually had a shot at trying it, is a form of parental control. Children, especially when they are young, derive their confidence from their parents.
Maybe, you didn’t mean to discourage your child to such an extent, but even a small, flippant normative comment can have a lasting impact on your child’s mind.
After all, children learn to see the world from their parent’s perspective; they believe almost everything you say. If they feel that you do not believe in their capability to achieve something, then it must be true.
This will lead to your child giving up without even trying and thus never realizing whether he truly had the potential to achieve it or not. These comments which might seem inconsequential to you can cause psychological scars to your child.
“Girls/Boys do not do these things”
A statement like this or such other gender appropriating statements has no place in the present world. In today’s world telling your child to not play with something or not do something that you believe is only suitable for one particular sex is absolutely not acceptable.
Moreover, as responsible adults, we all have a collective responsibility that we strive towards building an egalitarian society that is free from such prejudices.
Most importantly, denying your child a certain toy or a certain experience because you think it is not suitable for their gender will automatically put a restriction on their creativity and suppress their individuality. Children in most cases, get drawn to toys, not because they associate them with a particular gender but simply because they find them shiny and attractive.
Gradually, as they grow older they tend to figure out what gives them more joy and happiness and stick to them. Thus, point-blank refusing your child access to certain things based on gender appropriation will have a detrimental effect on your child’s personality.
“You make me so angry”
It is hard to control our emotions during a heated argument and such phrases might just roll out of our tongue, but the impact that these phrases can have on children is enormous. There will be times when your child will do or say certain things which get you all riled up.
In fact, getting angry at your child is not the problem here; of course, you will, we all do in certain instances, but it is very important you learn to express it in the right way. Lashing out at them or making them feel small or ashamed for something that they have done will only push them to a corner and make them feel unloved.
This will have the absolute opposite effect from what you desired; your child will grow defensive and will try to justify what he or she has done in a desperate attempt to redeem themselves and win back your affection. However, if you manage to gain control of your anger and try a different approach towards showing why you are angry it will be far more beneficial for both you and your child.
You could probably reason with them about why what he or she has done is unacceptable or wrong. This will allow your child to think more critically about his/her actions from the next time. Moreover, calm parents raise calm children, and angry, temperamental parents raise their kind.
“You are so stupid”
Of all the things that one is by far the worst thing, you can ever say to your child. No matter how immature their action might be, you should never resort to calling your child stupid. Doing so will be a terrible blow to their self-esteem and this might lead to ruining your bond with your child.
They might not want to share their dreams, aspirations, and thoughts with you in fear of being criticized so harshly by you. Worse, they will actually start believing it themselves and suffer from a lack of confidence.
“I never wanted to have you/ You were a mistake”
Any statement along these lines should absolutely never be uttered in front of your child. Statements like these are hurtful beyond words. These words will always haunt them and they will always remember that you had said this. Such words are the building blocks of childhood trauma in kids.
These words are cutting, direct, and attacking; your child will never forget how it made them feel when you said these and will never forget how it made them feel.
In fact, saying this will put you in the category of abusive parents, and children of abusive parents often show signs of mental trauma like depression or rage. If you are going through a stressful time, try seeking medical help to cope with it, but projecting it on your blameless child should not be the option.
Always remember that it was your conscious decision to bring the child into the world and the child did not ask to be born. If you are having thoughts like these, reach out to a doctor who will refer you to a psychologist.
“I was far more intelligent than you at your age”
These are the kind of statements that might seem harmless but in fact, have deep-rooted consequences. These statements establish a competitive relationship between the parent and the child.
Your child does not need to compete with anyone, let alone with you. Saying things like this will make your child feel that they aren’t good enough and this, in turn, will affect their confidence levels.
You would probably want to set an example before your kids which they can admire, but you most definitely don’t want to overshadow your children. Your job as a parent is to nurture them, help them grow, and achieve to the best of their potentials.
“Why are you making such a big deal…”
Statements like these make your kid feel like you are invalidating their feelings. It deters them from showing emotions. Bottling up emotions from a young age is a recipe for disaster.
You should ensure that your child feels comfortable sharing their innermost thoughts with you – their insecurities, their fears, their joys, instead, when you are saying this, you are pushing them away.
They might never open up to you again as your statement will make them question themselves. Instead, if your child is crying or making a big deal about a small thing, go up to them and ask them what is troubling them in a gentle manner.
This will strengthen the bond that you have with them and they will be more likely to come to you to seek a solution the next time.
“I do so much for you/ I spend so much money on you”
Parenting a child is difficult – it is extremely expensive, time-consuming, and exhaustive, but remember, you chose this. Constantly reminding your children about how much you do for them will make them feel unloved.
It will almost make them feel like they are a burden to you and you don’t want them. This can have severe detrimental effects on their mental health.
It can cause depression in children and can show even worse problems in the future. We understand that such statements are usually made to make children understand how privileged they are, but there are numerous other ways to do the same.
You could make your child understand the importance of sharing, take them to an orphanage one day and distribute some sweets among the kids.
“You should not mix with those kids”
We totally understand the protective instinct which makes you say things like these. However, young children are very impressionable. Statements like these will automatically make them feel that they are better than “those” kids.
They might even go to school or to play and tell those children off. This will make your child come across as a mean kid which is something you certainly don’t want.
“A or B got so much better grades than you”
We should not be comparing our children with others. Every child is special in their own unique way. Our aim is to help our children reach their best, not make them compete with other children.
Such comparisons will make them feel that they are not good enough and no matter what they do they cannot please you.
This will lead to them suffering from low confidence, anxiety and might tarnish the relationship that you have with them. Also, it will needlessly engage your child in an unhealthy competition with his or her peers and make them feel bitter towards them.
“You are growing so fat/ You are too skinny”
Parents may sometimes make comments like these without realizing how far-reaching their effects can be. The home is your child’s safe place; it is where he or she feels most protected, comfortable and secure.
A healthy home and a happy childhood will ensure that your child is better prepared to deal with bullies outside the home.
Statements or comments like these will shake your child’s confidence and will lead to body image issues in them. In today’s world, there is absolutely no place for body-shamers and while your agenda might not be to criticize them, it may have a negative impact on them.
“You are so much more privileged than I was”
This might be true. The standard of living is increasing with each passing generation so evidently, your child will have a better lifestyle than you did.
With technological progress, new gadgets are being discovered which are becoming an indispensable part of our lifestyle.
Grudging your child or telling them at every opportunity you get about how easy their lives are will make you one of those cranky parents who diss their child all the time. Every generation has its own advantages and disadvantages. Today’s kids might have it easier in some ways but they too are not without their struggles.
“You are the best”
While criticizing your child can lead to low self-esteem, praising them excessively or giving in to all their demands will make them a spoilt brat. It is necessary that you encourage them and praise them for their achievements, but using the superlative might lead to the problem of overconfidence in your child.
Being a parent is a tricky job. It requires a lot of patience, maturity, and self-belief. Moreover, being a good parent is so much about maintaining balance; you must never get overboard with either criticism or appreciation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What shall I do if my child throws a tantrum?
It is important to understand the root cause of such behavior. The ideal solution would be to help your child regain control over his or her emotions and then have a conversation about the issue he or she is facing.
How shall I reprimand my child?
Reprimanding your child is very important and it is absolutely okay to do so. Just be careful enough to not be too hurtful to your child’s sentiments.
My child is very naughty, what should I do?
Naughty children are often very intelligent. The right way to discipline them is to make sure that they are engaged in a lot of activities that they enjoy. This way they will have less free time.