Parenting is one of the most challenging jobs in the universe. As a parent, we compassionately wish good for our child always. On the journey of making our child a happy, self-dependent, confident and wonderful human being, we might use the phrases which might seem quick, smart and apt for the situation. But on a closer look, we could realize how comfortably they miss their goal and undermine our relationship with our toddler. Here are a few of those things which are better to be rephrased to make it effective in building our child’s personality.
1. “Great job!”
Of course, Positive reinforcement such as praising is one of those most effective tools the parents have. But the adverse effect of it comes into effect when the praising is vague and indiscriminate and it loses its meaning when your kid is praised for every little thing he does. Instead of generic statements like “Good girl” or “Great job!” or “Way to go”, get into particulars and appreciate the efforts they invest in achieving it. This would make them confident and self-motivated.
2. “Wait till mommy/daddy gets home!”
This is not only a kind of threat to your kid but also a diluted form of discipline. To be effective, the situation should be taken care of immediately and by yourself. Don’t pass the bucks. The postponed discipline makes it difficult for your child to connect the actions and consequences. And also, this undermines your authority and lets your partner be in an undeserved bad-cop role.
3. “Hurry up!”
Mornings are usually busy if you are a parent of a toddler. Your toddler keeps lingering over breakfast, insists on doing his work “all by self” (from tying his shoelace to every possible routine work related to him) and most of the times be on pace to be late to school. But if you are whining, screeching, rolling your eyes or pushing your child to move faster every single day, it could only create additional stress in your child and make him feel bad about making you rush. It doesn’t make your child hurry up. Instead, make your child feel like you both are a team together. Soften your voice and tell him, “Let’s hurry” or turn the act of getting ready into a game and compete with each other about who gets ready first. That would be a good laugh for both of you.
4. “I am proud of you!”
A blanket statement of encouragement like this could make your child feel responsible for the parental pride. Instead of being encouraged, your child would feel the pressure of handling the responsibility and make parents prouder. Instead, offer the credit where it belongs with sentences like “Good for you”.
5. “I am on a diet”
If you are conscious about weight, keep it to yourself. Don’t let your child hear it again and again. This could make your child be overly conscious and think of body shaming. He might start thinking that only having an ideal body type could make him lovable. Also, instead of saying “I am on a diet”, try conveying the benefits of healthy food. “I need exercise” makes you sound like you are complaining. Instead, rephrase it to “It is beautiful outside. I am going for a walk”. This could not only make you feel better but might also inspire your child to join you for the walk.
6. “Let me help!”
As a parent, it is quite natural to give in a hand for your child while he is struggling to finish the puzzle or complete his homework or project. But jumping in too early to help your child could only undermine his abilities to be self-dependent and in future, he would always be looking for someone to help him out. Instead, act as a team and help your child with guiding questions to help him solve the problem. This would boost his confidence.