I kind of hate parenting ‘experts’ and their bullshit advice.
Don’t get me wrong, I read everything I can find on parenting. But nine times out of ten I’m left with strained ocular muscles from all the rigorous eye-rolling. They’re SO FREAKING SMUG.
Most of these ‘experts’ prey on the fact that parents, as a rule, are panicked about getting it all wrong. The most clicked on articles? The “should never” articles. Man, I’m clicking on those links like a hormonal teen clicking on Bieber dick pics. I need to see them. I NEED to see what I’m doing wrong.
So you better believe I clicked on the link that told me the Ten things you should NEVER say to your kids.
Shit. Apparently I am doing severe and permanent damage to my child every time I open my mouth.
Tonight after dinner Thud walked over to the sink and chucked his dirty plate in there. Without even being asked. For a kid who’s not yet 2 and a half, this impressed me muchly.
“GREAT JOB mate!” I cried.
Well fuck me if I haven’t just condemned him to a life of booze and hard drugs.
He then walked back and proceeded to climb up the couch so he could use the backrest as a slide. He does it all the time and frequently ends up arse over tit on the floor.
“Be careful please!” I nagged.
BAM. I think I see an anxiety-riddled man blossoming before my eyes.
As I tried to herd him upstairs for his bath, he went boneless and flopped on the floor in protest.
“Hurry up child!” I called out.
May God forgive the sociopath I’ve just created.
Apart from “I’m on a diet” (simply because I’m hugely pregnant and very, very far from caring about a diet), I would say all of these things on a fairly regular basis.
We all do. If we didn’t say these things, there’d be hardly anything left to say to our kids.
Can we all agree that while there are better ways to speak to our children, these are NOT the worst things you can say?
Here’s my list of the ten things you should never say to your kids.
“You’re an idiot”
“I don’t love you”
“I don’t care about you”
“Get away from me”
“I wish you were never born”
“You’ve ruined my life”
“You’ll never amount to anything”
This kind of messaging would destroy a child. Saying any of those things would make you a really shitty parent.
Telling them they’re ok when they fall over?? I reckon they’ll survive that.
The article explains that when we say things like “you’re ok”, we’re telling the child not to feel upset and therefore stunting their emotional growth. And when we say “hurry up” we’re stressing the kid out. When we say “great job” we’re creating a child who will always try to get our approval (can someone show me a child who isn’t trying to get their parents’ approval?).
It’s so bloody tiring to second guess every little thing I do as a parent. Every decision I make has someone telling me it’s wrong and someone else saying it’s right. I’M SO TIRED. Aren’t you tired too?
I’m hyper aware of my role in shaping my child. I watched the movie Inside Out recently and that shit gave me nightmares about how badly I could fuck him up.
But can we stop handing out rules and start giving high fives to parents who do their best to show their kids love, encouragement and support every day? Because sometimes kids are little brats and what you really want to say is, “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE GET YOUR ARSE INTO GEAR AND GET IN THE FUCKING CAR!” but instead you take a deep breath, count to three and say “hurry up please!” and you deserve a medal for your next-level self control.
How about we acknowledge all the great things we say to our kids every day like, “I love you”. I personally think that has far more impact and value than, “let’s sit down and workshop your disappointment in the result of your game of tag and then we can craft a song and we’ll all sing it together and try to strategise ways to deal with our feelings next time.”
*extreme eye roll*
Here are ten things you should ALWAYS say to you kids:
Have you said any of these things to your kids today? I bet you have. HIGH FIVE. You’re getting it right and your child will be absolutely fine. Now go and have a drink or a piece of chocolate and rest easy knowing that I, Lauren have declared you a good parent. I am an expert* after all.
*Not an expert in any capacity. It may actually be harmful to your health to take advice from me. But I still think you’re awesome.
Are you sick of parenting advice? Do you agree with any of the “should never” phrases?
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