Being a parent is no easy task, especially when your kids are teens. That’s when it seems like you’re always butting heads with them.We all know that words can cut deeper than a knife which is why knowing how to communicate with your kids is the key. So what phrases are an absolute no-no? Keep reading to find out.
Number 10: THE HAPPY TEENS
You’re OK if your teens are upset about something whether it’s a crush that won’t notice them or a fight with their best friend, you shouldn’t just tell them that they’re okay.According to Dr. Jenn Maiya, a psychotherapist and author of ‘The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy Confident Kids’, this type of response from you will only make things worse.
Sure their little teenage problems may seem trivial to you as an adult, with bills and responsibilities, but remember yourself at this age your kid really isn’t okay.They need your help to get through these negative emotions.So be there shoulder to cry on, listen to them and acknowledge their feelings this way they won’t be afraid to come to you. If something bad happens they’ll know that you’ll always give them the support they need.
Number 9: I’M SO FAT!
Yeah, we all get frustrated with ourselves sometimes whether you’ve called yourself fat, stupid, ugly or inserted more negative words.Here, you should really try to break this habit, especially if you’re a parent.A study conducted by the University of Notre Dame found that when parents criticize themselves out loud with their children, nearby it can actually have a detrimental effect on their kids’ self-esteem.That’s because our parents are our role models. As we’regrowing up, their behavior sets an example for us.So, for example, when mother calls herself fat all the time her daughter subconsciously learns to view her body and appearance in the same way plus this negative self-talk does you no good either so don’t be too hard on yourself after all nobody’s perfect.
Number 8: HURRY UP!
Mornings seem to be every parent’s most hectic part of the day.Hey, you got to get the kids out of bed, dressed and full of breakfast all before the bus arrives.Of course it can be especially difficult with teens who don’t want to get out of bed or take forever on picking out what to wear.But screaming on them to hurry up isn’t the answer. Psychologists and co-author of ‘Baby Minds’,Dr. Linda Acrid Olo, says that all this rushing just puts unnecessary pressure on your kid.
They don’t need that before they head to school where they deal with even more problems and stress.So you may want to soften it up a bit and definitely not yell. Remind them that their breakfast is getting cold or there’s not much left, teens have a killer appetite after all!Whatever you do, just try to keep a positive and playful vibe in the morning, your kid will surely appreciate it.
Number 7: AN EMOTIONAL RIDE
Don’t be sad, adolescence is a time of emotional roller coasters. Teenagers can be hyper with pure joy one minute and then crying for seemingly no reason the next.And it’s especially difficult for parents to cope when their kid is down in the dumps, so they reassure them by saying they’ll be sad. But Dr. Debbie Glasser, the director of Family Support Services at the mailman Segal Institute for early childhood study says that phrases like this send the message that the kids’ emotions aren’t valid and that it’s not okay to feel how they feel at this particular moment.If your teen is sad or crying, sit them down and try to help them work through their feelings,i.e. if they’re comfortable opening up, they’ll feel better getting their worries off their chest and this heart-to-heart will only strengthen your bond.
Number 6: LET ME DO IT WELL
It’s only natural for every parent who wants to help their kid, if he or she is seriously struggling with something. But offering direct help, especially doing something yourself instead of letting them figure it out on their own can set them up for failure in the future.
Dr. Myrna Sure,Professor Emeritus at the Department of Psychology at Drexel University, an author of ‘Raising a Thinking Child’, explains that if you tend to jump in too soon, you may undermine your child’s independence. They’ll develop a habit of always looking to others for answers and nobody wants that for their kids.So if you want your child to grow up and be self-sufficient, don’t be so hands-on.You can however guide them through a problem and help them find the right solutions themselves. This way your child will grow up knowing that everything is in their own hands instead of naively waiting for somebody else to come and make all their problems disappear.
Number 5: YOU’RE SO INCREDIBLE!
Psychological science published a really interesting study on something called inflated praise and its effect on children with low self-esteem. For example,‘You are good at this’ is considered simple praise while ‘You’re incredibly good at this’ is inflated. In one of the experiments, children drew a famous Van Gogh painting. A professional painter then gave them a note with inflated simple or of no praise at all written on it.
After receiving the note, the children were asked to choose another painting to copy, either an easy one or a difficult one. The children with low self-esteem who had received inflated praise usually went for the easy pictures while the children with high self-esteem who had received inflated praise typically chose the difficult ones.This only means that inflated praise somehow puts even more pressure on children with low self-esteem as opposed to encouraging them.They start to worry about meeting the high standards you’ve set again, so they’re afraid to take on a challenge. As for how you should encourage your child when they’ve done a good job, we’ll get into that in our next point which is:
Number 4: GOOD JOB!
A good job might seem like a sincere and harmless compliment to someone’s work or achievements but believe it or not it’s actually not that good for your kids to hear.Dr. Susan Newman, a social psychologist and best-selling author says that it’s better to focus on how your child has achieved the result rather than just giving them your reaction.For example, if your kid drew a picture, you can ask questions like ‘What made you go for this color in particular or what inspired you to add this part here?’.Asking questions about the details and what work it took to get the result keeps the focus on your kid and makes them explain their choices, both of which help their self-confidence a lot. But ‘great job’ is so generic and doesn’t encourage your children as much as you think.
Number 3: YOU NEED TO BE THE IDEAL ELDER SIBLING
I remember that one if you have a teen and they’ve got a younger sibling. Things can get especially stressful in the house.Of course every adolescent has an extremely short fuse and their little brother or sister can definitely set it off.But parents also like to criticize their teens for their mistake with the classic ‘you need to set a good example for the little one.’Dr. Katherine Kersey, a professor of early childhood education at Old Dominion University says it’s better to use phrases like ‘your brother or sister looks up to you’ or ‘you’re such a role model for your little brother and Sister.’This way you don’t put an invisible burden of being perfect on your teen’s shoulders. They’re under enough pressure already, they don’t need any more!
Number 2:KISS GRANDMA!
Yes, from a very early age, most of us are forced to hug or kiss our relatives, even if we don’t really want to. It’s not because we don’t love our family, it’s just that some of us aren’t so comfortable with hugging and kissing people as others might be.And forcing your kids to do this may leave a deep subconscious feeling that they don’t have total control over their bodies and their display of affection.
Peter Saunders, founder of the National Association for people abused in childhood warns that children should never be forced to do anything that makes them uncomfortable, especially when it comes to physical contact. So be sure to always give your child a choice asking,‘Would you like to kiss grandma goodbye?’, and if the answer is no, don’t push it they can always do it in their own time.
Number 1: I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!
Ah! surprising isn’t it?Yes, this completely harmless and seemingly encouraging phrase isn’t as perfect as you thought. According to Dr. Karl Picker, a psychologist and author of the book Surviving Your Child’s Adolescence, it’snot that great of an idea to give your teens a blanket statement of encouragement.That’s because children may start to feel responsible for this expressed parental pride like they need to keep it up because it’s the only way that mom or
dad will feel good or love them.Hey, Teens think a certain way even if it’s not true. So if you feel like it might affect your kid or it already has, try to replace this phrase with good.For you, this gives the child more credit for their achievement and puts all the focus on them rather than on you.After all, that’s where it truly belongs right? And here’s a bonus, the phrase that will truly trigger your teens into negative emotions,‘Oh Oh! the Wi-Fi is down, I don’t know when it’ll be back up’, now it works in your house too!
So what do you think what phrases should never be said to teens?Tell us in the comments down here and don’t forget to come back to our website to stay on the bright side of life