Whats the Right Thing to Say
Your child has started to walk and is on the way to explore new words. Your child’s learns his or her first words by interacting with you and other people in the family. By the second year, your child begins to understand more than what he or she can express. So be careful about what you say when your child is around.
Children who feel respected and valued are more likely to treat others with respect. So model the qualities you want to see in your child.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while talking to your child:
- Politeness: Answer your child’s questions politely and respectfully.
- If you don’t have time, do not say, “I don’t have time now”. Instead say “Can I please answer it after I finish this.”
- If you don’t know the answer, don’t say, “I don’t know”, instead say, “Let’s find out together”.
Such words make the child feel that he or she is a part of the process.
- Saying No: Do not say “no” or “don’t” when your child asks you a question. Your child will repeat the same thing when you ask a question.
- Instead you may say, “let us think about it”.
- Instead of saying, “don’t do this”, say, “ let’s do something else”.
- Arguments: Arguments between couples is common and natural. But if you argue in front of your children, be sure to make up in front of them too. This gives them a sense of security and teaches them that conflicts may happen, but can be resolved.
- Stereotypes: Avoid calling names and making jokes that create stereotypes in your child’s mind about gender, religion, or body size. For example, avoid saying:
- “That fat boy in your class”.
- “That dark girl has a weird accent”.
Help your child value differences and respect others feelings.
- Abuse: Do not abuse anyone in front of your child. It will make him or her think that this is the right way to call the person whomever you are abusing.
- Negative Phrases: Do not use negative phrases such as:
- “You will never learn”
- “You are hopeless”
- “You are a bad girl”
This will make the child feel ashamed and also instill feelings of anger in him or her.
Always keep the communication with your child respectful and positive. This will reinforce feelings of compliance, respect and tolerance in your child. Happy parenting!