Words have power, whether we wish to accept that or not, and they especially have power when they are coming from parent to child. There is an old saying that goes something along the lines of “the words you speak to your child now, will become their internal dialogue in the future.”
When you think about it, this phrase holds so much truth. Our words do have power. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, so if you have said any of these, don’t beat yourselves up. We are all learning from our mistakes and as long as we always recognize when we are wrong and strive to do better, we can help our kids grow into the best people possible.
Here are 7 things a father should never say to his child.
1. “You are getting kind of pudgy.”
Never point out your child’s weight or say anything negative about their appearance. Your child will internalize words like this and it will destroy their self-esteem. Additionally, when the comment is made about weight, you are very likely to destroy their relationship with food.
2. “I wish you were more like….”
Playing the comparison game is cruel. You might be making this statement as a joke or from a place of good intentions, but the message your child hears is “You are not enough.”
3. “I do everything for you.”
It might be true that you do a lot for your child, but it’s not fair to hold this over their head. Your children depend on you, and it is your job to do everything for them. They did not ask to be born, so please don’t hold your responsibilities over their heads.
4. “I’ll never forgive you.”
You may say this and think that it will help your child to not do whatever behavior leads you to this point. However, kids remember things and you will forgive them. When you do, they may not be able to forget that you have already verbally crossed them off.
5. “You’re a bad kid.”
Remember to label bad behaviors instead of labeling your child. When you label your child instead of their behavior, they are likely to fall into the label you’ve made for them.
6. “You’ll be fine. Stop crying.”
Emotional invalidation is real, and it causes emotional problems down the line. So many kids are made to feel as though their emotions are bad, which will make them run from their emotions instead of processing them. Instead of telling them to ‘stop crying,’ work on validating them and helping them cope.
7. “We’ll never afford that.”
When you bring up finances and say, “We’ll never afford that,” you are destroying your child’s mindset. Instead of saying “we’ll never,” say, “if we save money for that, we can purchase it later.” Place the focus on what you can do, and keep the focus around being responsible financially, not on feeling helpless financially. Putting financial burdens on your child will only make them feel helpless.