In my last post, I shared 5 Things I Want My Daughter to Learn. Obviously, there have to be things that I don’t want her to learn and actually there are plenty. Still, like the last post, I just want to share a few gender-neutral things that will go a long way.
I am not a parenting-expert and these are just simple things that I have learned on my parenting journey which is not even a year old. Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids are sometimes more important than what to tell them.
When I first read that it’s OK not to share, I felt confused but after digging deeper, I found out that it’s actually great. This becomes even more important for me as I don’t want another child and it’s said that single children have a tough time sharing their stuff.
How will you as an adult feel if any of your thing was taken forcibly from you especially when you were using it? Not great, right? Why force the little ones then? A much better approach is to let the kid decide when s/he is done with the toy or anything they are playing with. And when they are over that toy, remind them to share with other kid who wanted it. “Share your toy with XYZ now!” is one of the things that tops my list of Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids.
Both the children learn important lessons this way. The giver learns generosity that’s not forced and the taker learns the art of waiting. Yes, waiting can be really tough for toddlers but they will soon learn to deal with it and this will help them later in life.
2.Thinking that She’s the Best
The next thing on my list of Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids is to keep saying- “You are the best.” Every parent thinks that there kid is the absolute best and I’m no different. It’s normal but I feel that telling them that they are the best puts pressure on the child to perform up to expectations. Calling them smart and other similar adjectives can even make them smug according to a book I read. It’s best to praise the effort whether they excel or fail. I know it’s a tough thing to do but I want my daughter to feel that it’s the efforts in the right direction that make things achievable.
3.Being Mini Me or Him
It’s highly tempting to want to live your unfulfilled dreams through your children but won’t it be same as what your parents (in most cases) wanted from you? I’m sure that most of you didn’t like it.
When our kids copy us, we feel so kicked and it’s certainly fun. What is not fun is forcing your desires on them. I wanted to be a fashion designer and my husband a scientist. We couldn’t achieve our goals due to various reasons and sometimes we jokingly say that she will be an architect where both art and science is required.
We have decided that we’ll never stop Idhaya from doing what she wants to. She can be anything- a boxer, a pilot, a dancer, an artist, a scientist or anything else she feels like. We will never say to her that you should follow us.
4.Being Thin Skinned
It’s so common to shame people and like it or not, the shaming starts right from the time a baby is born. She is too small, too big, too dark and what not. Then we shame naked babies even if it’s just for fun. We shame babies for not eating, not sleeping, crying and anything they do that we don’t like. The intentions may be good but such shaming can’t be good for little ones. Idhaya was tonsured at 6 months and a little girl, all of 3 years laughed hysterically at her. It might seem normal but it hit me and I realized that unknowingly, we teach our babies to put others down.
While shaming is tough to stop, I want Idhaya to be able to not feel hurt by such things. I want her to develop thick skin against such things even if she comes across as haughty sometimes. Being gullible is never an option.
5.Looks Are Everything
I myself am guilty of calling her ‘my pretty baby’ throughout the day. Mom infatuation much? The fact is that it’s not good for little ones. We say such things out of love but it drives kids to feel like they have to be good-looking. I anyway feel that every person looks good (except me :P).
I don’t want Idhaya to grow up thinking that she has to be tall, fair, skinny and whatever else makes up the ‘conventional’ definition of beautiful to be complete. There’s so much more in everybody so I would rather shift her focus on being a good one. Words that give too much importance to beauty are Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids.
I would really appreciate it if you want to discuss any of these points or if you wish to add more pointers. Let’s talk in the comments section about Things You Should Never Say To Your Kids.