All children need to grow up in a nurturing environment because their minds are very delicate. A child’s perceptual foundation is influenced by the adults the child is surrounded by. A child needs to develop psychologically and cognitively. Some various actions and phrases disrupt this process.
Here are a few psychologically damaging things parents say to their children:
1. “You are too sensitive” or “Stop being so emotional.”
We encounter many parents who say this to their children. This leads to the children shutting off their emotions.
Yes, it is true that your children shouldn’t get upset over everything, but they need to be taught that it is okay to feel emotions. As a parent, react to your child’s distress whether it is valid or not. Let your child decide if it is an important thing to get upset over or not. Let them experience their emotions healthily and openly.
2. “Because I said so.”
We have all heard this phrase during our childhood days. It might get your child to do what you tell them to do, but it also teaches children many negative things. It creates a controlling atmosphere.
As the parent has control over the child, stating “I said so” doesn’t allow them to learn why they shouldn’t do it. You are indifferently training your child to treat their inner thoughts and questions as unimportant. It will cause them to suppress their inner thoughts and questions and indirectly impacts a child’s self-awareness and self-confidence.
3. “Why can’t you be more like…”
It is unhealthy for a child when you compare them to a sibling, cousin, or friend. This negatively affects your child’s mental health and psychological development.
Comparing your children to someone else can make them feel like they’re not good enough. They will definitely end up comparing themselves to others when they grow up. As a parent, you should develop ways to improve your child’s behavior and work with your child to implement change.
4. “If you do not come now, I will leave you here.”
Parents use this tactic to get their children to come along with them. This can be harmful because the child might end up feeling neglected. Your child might even question their strong attachment to you as the parent. Even though a parent wouldn’t actually leave a kid behind, it can negatively impact the foundation of security a parent offers a child.
A quick list:
- Don’t use offensive words towards their appearance – it leads to physical insecurity. Parents should teach children to love themselves.
- Provocative questions towards actions, such as: “Why do you walk like that?”, “Why do you act so weird.” – it makes it hard for them to be themselves around people.
- Selfish statements/wishes such as: “I wish you were never born!” – will diminish their whole sense of identity and leads to depression. Make your children feel loved and secure.
- Making them feel like a burden – will cause them to hide their feelings and needs. It could lead to them stealing and being abusive.
- Unhealthy comparisons – will reduce their self-esteem. Lack of self-esteem can lead to substance abuse, jealousy, and resentment towards others. Everyone is unique in their own way.
- Verbally abusive words are statements – those remarks as you’re stupid or useless will break a child’s self-esteem. Parents must encourage their children and bring the best out of them so they can prosper and be successful.
Here are some signs and causes of emotional neglect in children:
- Uncertainty of what they are capable of.
- Feeling flawed.
- Lacking self-confidence.
- Difficulty in feeling and expressing emotions.
- Lack of compassion for themselves.
- Rejects help from others.
- Blames themselves continuously.
- Reluctant to go home.