Social Icons

Monday, July 25, 2011

9 things you shouldn’t say to your child

I just read a really interesting article by Paula Spencer, which outlines the nine things you should never say to your children. It's a good, informative piece that explains not only why you shouldn't say these things but suggests alternatives.
Paula also points out that of course, us mums cant always waft around in a cloud of freshly baked cookie scent, being endlessly sweet and patient and sometimes we do snap; the question is, how often and how brutally do you verbally swipe at your offspring?

Having glanced at the comments underneath Paula's article I didn't need to read further than the first, which simply said "I've said every one" then the mum in question backed up that statement with a sad face made entirely from punctuation, to illustrate just how dissatisfied she is with her loose tongue.

Well, I can tell that mum to turn that frown (or rather bracket) upside down as she ain't alone!

So, just for fun, lets go through the nine don'ts and play a bit of "bad mummy bingo", fingers crossed you don't get a full house.

1) "Leave me alone!"

Ok, so this one I've definitely said, to be precise though I say the Northern version, handed down through generations of proud Boltonian women: "Stop mithering!"

See also "Get out from under my feet!" which is most effective when thundered lovingly from atop a juddering ample bosom clad in a housecoat.

This one is a no-brainer for me; when pans are bubbling over and there's a child pulling at your arms, I see it as a warm shooing away for their own safety. Ok, next:

2) "You're so.."

Hmm, this is an interesting one 'cos there's so many words you can tag onto this: selfish/lazy/stupid are ones I'd never ever use. Daft/dramatic/soppy maybe, but said in a chiding way, though probably not ideal. Must try harder Saz. Labeling your child by telling them they are something is probably best avoided, unless its "You're so gorgeous/sweet/brilliant"

3) "Don't cry"

Yep, said it. This isn't really a bad one. It's more about validating their feelings. Saying "you must be sad Jamie cant play out today" is preferable though does take a while.

4) "Why can't you be more like your sister?"

This one only works if your child has a sister, otherwise they'll think you're insane. I don't do this one, but must confess to saying pointedly, "Oh, good girl Lola, eating your dinner so nicely" as Isaac rubs mashed potato in his hair.

5) "You Know Better Than That!"

Oh no. Wish I'd never started this! Yup, I've definitely said a version of that to Lola. When she's wrestling with a 6-pint carton of milk and spills it (though not worth crying over) I have been known to say "You kinda knew that'd happen, ask me for help next time". I suppose next time I ought to miss off the first half of the statement. Or buy smaller cartons of milk.

6) "Stop or I'll give you something to cry about!"

Ok, this one I never say. For two reasons: my mum used to say it a lot and I remember hating the menacing undercurrent of a promised smack and also, I'm a firm believer in following through threats and seeing as I don't hit my kids, this threat would be pointless.
I must however say I do now with hindsight understand why my mum would say it, as there are few things more annoying than a child theatrically bursting into tears at the drop of a hat/flapjack/crayon. It's manipulative and noisy.

7) "Hurry up!"

Well, I may as well get this one tattooed somewhere on my midriff to save time in a morning, so when I'm halfway out the door on a rainy Monday AM with a baby/blazer/book bag/games kit in my arms and my darling daughter not only hasn't put her shoes on (as I've asked her to six times) but is instead perched on the stairs plaiting her dolls hair I can simply flash my tummy tattoo instead of growling "hurry up" through a mouthful of half-munched apple.

8) "Wait 'til daddy gets home!"

Never said it. That's no threat. I'm the boss and they know it. In fact, they're probably excited about his arrival home to save them from me.

9) "Great job!" or "good girl!"

Hmm, apparently its better to be more specific, like "I can see how beautifully you've coloured in the butterfly wings on that picture" which obviously takes longer. I'm taking that one on board and will do my best, unless of course the butterfly is being illustrated when she should be getting her school shoes on (see above)

So that's the naughty nine. Whatever your score there's probably room for improvement but let's not beat ourselves up too much. I'm sure most of us had some of the 9 said to us as children and we're ok.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...