1) False Praise — Example: If your child asks you, “Does this look okay?” please actually LOOK at it before you say, “Sure, Honey, it looks fine!” Never tell your child, “If you did it, I’m sure it’ll be great!” Kids do learn to tell the difference between true praise and false praise. They notice when you actually look at something they’re trying to show you and they notice when you’re actually paying attention to them. They also notice when you’re not. Too much false praise and you’re going to end up kinda like the kid who cried ‘wolf’ — your kids are going to stop trusting your praise to be genuine because they know it’s not. Kids work harder on things in order to gain praise and attention from their parents. If you stop giving genuine praise, they’re going to stop putting out effort to earn it.
2) “Stop acting stupid!” — You know, sometimes a kid really doesn’t understand something. If you tell him he’s “acting stupid”, he’s going to hear this: “You’re stupid.” I realize that kids do sometimes pretend to not know or understand things, but you have to be careful what you say and when you say it. I have been in that situation and I know how it feels. I’m sure you have too at some time or other. So, just remember how that felt and try your best to avoid making others feel that same way.
3) “Their kids are so good! Why can’t you behave like that?” — Don’t put that all on the kid! Maybe it’s because you haven’t disciplined them right… Anyway, when you ask your kid that, your kid is going to feel like you would rather have those other kids than your own. Your kids just aren’t good enough for you. And, yeah, they most likely won’t tell you that, but they’re probably feeling it.
4) “If so-and-so can do it, I know you can.” — That is so not true and kids are smart enough to know that it’s not true! It makes me so mad when I hear a parent tell this to their child! I hated it when my parent told me that! You can’t expect a kid to be able to do something just because someone else can. It doesn’t matter if their older (or younger) sibling(s) can sing, sew, paint, act, cook, etc. That doesn’t mean that this particular child can do it too. Let each of your kids find out just what they’re good at and work on that instead of trying to force them to do something you “know” they can do. This goes for school too. If your child tells you that he’s not good in a certain subject — that he doesn’t understand it — but your other kids were great in it, don’t just assume that he’s lying to get out of doing his school. Maybe he really does need help. Think about it…
There are many other things that kids shouldn’t have to hear from their parents (or anyone, really), but I’ll leave it at four. If you would like to share something that you think kids shouldn’t have to hear from their parents, please leave a comment!
Related post — “4 Things Kids Should Hear From Their Parents“