If you are a parent, then by now you should already know that what you do and say around your kids make a lasting effect on them. It is important that when we speak to them, especially during these COVID times, when most of us, including children, feel the challenges that the pandemic has brought upon this world, we must consider how our words would make them feel. The phrases that we use when talking with them not only mirror our beliefs about life but also influence how they face their life challenges. And although most of the phrases that we usually say may seem safe and undamaging, these phrases could lead your children to grow up with low self-esteem and a mentality that is not beneficial for their future success.
Below are some of the harmful phrases that parents must not use during COVID times and always.
“I don’t like my job.”
You may have had a tiring and annoying day work, and your boss explicitly told you that the job you did was average no matter how hard you work on it, so you were so off, and you just want to vent to your spouse when you get home. But regardless of how your day was, you must not let your kids hear you say this negative phrase, as they will pick up on this kind of message.
Studies have proven that parents’ attitudes about how they talk about their job have an impact on foreseeing the future of our kids’ success, particularly their academic success. When you complain about your job around your children, this gives them the idea that work can never be fun, and it’s all just about earning a living to survive, not about fulfilling one of their life-long careers. It would be best to talk to them about career choices and how they could make their lives better by valuing what they do.
“We can never afford to buy that.”
If there’s something that your kid has been longing to have and he asks you if you can buy it for him, don’t tell him that you won’t be able to afford something like that forever. Don’t let him think that money is the only thing that’s keeping him from getting what he wants. Instead, tell your kid that for now, you don’t have sufficient funds to buy it for him, but that you can always try next week or the following month. Let him see that you are in managing your finances well, and with confidence, hard work, and patience, you can have almost anything you want.
Also, you can tell him about what you want, like buying your dream house for the family. Say, “I’m saving up for our dream house, but right now, it’s way off our budget. I’m working on an extra project, so that dream house will become a reality soon.” That’s giving them hope and spirit.
“You make me so furious.”
As a parent, it is crucial to stay calm and keep the desire to put the blame on your kids – or on anyone else for that matter – because of how we are feeling. Rather than getting mad for something that your kid did, a safer and healthier thing to say would be, “What you did was wrong, and I didn’t like it.” This will let them understand that it’s not him that you’re mad at but what he did, his actions. This will assure him that he can do better next time and be aware of other people’s feelings.
“Everything will be fine.”
If your kid doesn’t get chosen as the star player for the school team, making him believe that things will turn out differently won’t help him prepare for the future. For instance, this pandemic has been costing us our businesses, our children’s education, and a lot more. Telling your kid to wait without doing anything because things will turn out well soon is a lie and will definitely not benefit him. You will need to explain to him that the virus is infectious, which is why there are social distancing guidelines in place. He should know that we should do our part to help prevent its spread. Likewise, not being chosen to be part of something that is important to him is only one of the many small failures in your kid’s life, something that he must face and overcome.
Comfort your kid and tell him that perhaps he is best in different things or that he may just need to do more. Finally, encourage him by saying that there are a hundred more opportunities for him to showcase his talents and abilities. Just as the COVID times will soon subside, your child will also be strengthened by the fact that his failures will be replaced by successes, and they will only help him become as strong and successful as he can be.