A Simple Change of Language does Wonders to our Kids!

According to research, some of the positive phrases commonly used with children, have been proven to be highly destructive for them. These phrases teach kids to stop trusting their internal guidance system and to become deceptive. They prompt the child to do as little as possible and give up when things get hard.

It is time to eliminate such phrases and sentences from our vocabulary if we wish for our children to be good human beings and become successful in their careers. Avoiding such phrases can become easier if we have alternatives to them. Here is a list of phrases to be avoided along with alternatives so that you could replace the habitual statements with phrases that encourage and motivate the child while providing an emotional support.

“Good Job!”

This statement is said too often leading children to think everything that they do is a ‘good job’, no matter what effort they put into it.  Instead, emphasize on your kid’s efforts and say, ‘”Your efforts are creditable!” This teaches kids that effort is more important than results and motivates them to be persistent at difficult tasks as well.

“Good Boy! (or girl)

This statement is commonly used to boost your kid’s esteem but it actually has the opposite effect! Hearing this statement, kids’ think they are ‘good’ because they have done what you asked for and make children insecure of losing the ‘Good Girl’ status if your orders are not followed each time. This makes them focus on the task only because your feedback is their motivation and not the task they are doing.

Instead, try saying, “I appreciate your cooperation!” or “It is nice of you to…” This gives kids the real information about your expectations and how their behavior affects your experience which prompts them to do things better and not doing things only to please you.

“What a beautiful picture!”

Our judgments and evaluations rob kids of an opportunity to judge their own artworks.

Instead, ask them about the picture. Question them so they can ponder over what they have done is good, correct or not. For example, point out to the house they drew and ask why the roof is pink? Ask them if they know what colour tiles are used on roofs, normally.  This will make your kids evaluate their own work and develop exceptional and unique skills.

“Stop it right now, or else!”

Threatening a child is never a good idea, plus you are teaching them skills you shouldn’t be. The ability to use brute force or manipulation even when the other person does not wish to cooperate is what you will be teaching your child to do.

Instead, say “Whatever you are doing is unacceptable because of the harm it is causing and should stop immediately” and provide an alternative soon after this line. For example, “Eating ice-cream before lunchtime isn’t acceptable; you may have it post lunch.” By offering an alternative, you are taking into consideration the child’s feelings yet correcting wrong behavior and kids are smart to understand that!

“If you do this, only then I will”

Bribing kids is a nasty way of getting the job done and eventually, they will use the same on you!  “Mom, buy be the new game and only then will I clean my room!”

Instead try saying, “The last time you helped me clean your room was such a big help, thank you so much! It will be nice if we could do that again when you are free.” This will instill team spirit in your child and make them feel good of themselves for being of help.

A simple act of language change is essential and greatly impacts a child’s internal motivation as well as your connection with each other. Better the connection, more the chances of the kid growing up as not only a successful person but also an empathetic and cooperative human being.

Leave a Reply