6. You’re So Fat / You’re Gonna Get Fat
This is a major no-no. It teaches children to be overly conscious of their bodies and will make them question their peers for eating certain things. Body image is an extremely sensitive and personal thing and to create this impression from such a vulnerable age is damaging.
While it may be true that an overweight child could benefit from losing weight, telling them that they’re ‘fat’ will just hurt their feelings, damage their self esteem, or cause added stress.
Fat shaming can lead to an unhealthy body image and disordered eating. Plus, it isn’t going to offer your child anything in the way of encouragement or guidance for how to slim down.
When it comes to getting kids to a healthier weight, focus on the taste of healthy food and the benefits that come with weight loss, rather than physical appearance, to get better results. In other words, make eating right and physical activity seem fun! Don’t make it about looks.
7. Just Let Me Do It
Utter these words to a child and a parent may as well say: “You can’t do anything right” or even “I’m better than you”. No matter how rushed, an impatient parent should take measures to bite their tongue and sit on their hands rather than say this dreaded phrase.
By allowing a child a bit of extra time in order to exert their independence (as well as feel a sense of accomplishment afterward), a parent is doing wonders for their child’s self-esteem. The words “Just let me do it” take all that away from them in one fell swoop.
A parent may believe they are helping their child by saving them time and frustration — but in actuality their child may end up internalizing this so-called help in a negative light. It may affect their confidence resulting in them not even trying in the first place because Mom and Dad can do it better and quicker.
Helping to nudge a child toward independence requires a fine balance of providing guidance, support, silence and presence. Even if a child fails – it won’t be for naught. And sometimes they will achieve victory… and that is always worth running a few minutes behind schedule.
8. You’re Selfish
While all kids can behave selfishly from time to time, telling them they are inherently selfish can cause lifelong trauma.
It’s important that parents are clear that they are disappointed with what the child did, not who they are as a person. This type of clarifying language is very important.
9. It’s Not That Big Of A Deal / Stop Being Such A Baby
This is the one of the worst things you could possibly tell your child when they are upset. It invalidates their feelings and makes them reluctant to openly talk to you. Children should feel comfortable with communicating their feelings and telling them “it’s not that big of a deal” will make them question themselves.
Instead, try saying: “Tell me how you feel and why you’re feeling this way.” Saying this will help you understand your child and let them know that you’re there if they need to talk.