2. You’re Too Young To Ask That Question
With topics like sex, death, religion and war being discussed more openly in society, it’s only natural that children will likely hear something confusing and turn to their parents for clarification. Remember — this is a good thing! An open dialogue should definitely be encouraged and will hopefully continue into the future.
If a child is capable of asking a question (no matter how awkward) then they deserve an answer. Of course, a parent can tailor their response based on the child’s age and emotional maturity to ensure they will comprehend the answer. A simple question really only requires a simple answer. More complicated responses may require several conversations taking place over time.
If a question is asked at an inopportune moment or catches a parent off guard, their first reaction may be to snap back with “You’re too young” or “Why do you want to know?” But a better response is to suggest having a conversation later when it’s more convenient. This will also give a parent time to prepare a response and not scramble to supply answers.
3. You’re So Dramatic
However certain you are that your kid’s behavior is over the top, labeling them “dramatic” when they’re trying to express themselves can have serious long-term consequences.
Children look to their parents to learn how to manage emotions, so if parents teach them that their feelings are silly, they will grow in to adults who believe that their feelings don’t matter.
4. You Did Well But You Could Do Better
Firstly, any compliment that’s followed by “but” should be avoided as it takes away the meaning of the compliment itself. Celebrating small victories is a way to motivate children to constantly do well. Using the word “but” will make them feel like they have not really made you proud and didn’t do enough, which will certainly do more harm than good.
Instead, try saying: “You did well and I am proud of you. I bet you’re going to keep getting better and better!”
5. You’re Just Like Your Father/Mother
When a parent projects their negative thoughts and emotions about their partner onto their mutual child, the insult becomes a double whammy. Not only does it knock the partner down a notch, but it devalues the child as well.
If the child is already aware of a level of contempt and animosity between parents, then any negative comparison will be sure to sting. And if they are unaware of any friction — then the phrase “You’re just like your mother/father”, especially if said in anger, will signal to a child that the parent is unhappy within the relationship.
By using this phrase, a parent inadvertently places themselves at odds with their partner and child. So not only does it become a one-against-two scenario, but the parent is basically telling their child that they remind them of someone they dislike. As a result, the child is placed in an extremely awkward position between their parents. And they may be wracked with shame any time the parent they were compared to is criticized in the future.