Verbal abuse in parenting is lot more common than you know. Some parents do it completely out of ignorance not knowing the effects of it on the child, some do not even agree that these simple statements have permanent emotional burns on the child, some are too wound up in abuse themselves, passing it on to their children and lastly come those who make 'informed choices'. They know, yet they care less, until there a time when it is too late.
The stories of suicide, depression and rage in children dates back to the days when they were 3,4,5,6,7 years young when they were hit, screamed at, criticized and told all sorts of harmful words. "THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS WORLD THAT YOU CANNOT TEACH A CHILD WITH LOVE, KINDNESS AND CARE THAT YOU WISH TO TEACH WITH FEAR, ANGER AND SCARE." If you care about the relationship with your child, care about their self-confidence and giving them a 'great life', care NEVER ever to say these words to your child:
- I WISH I NEVER HAD YOU: No matter how the child behaves, no matter how angry we feel within, this is the most harmful, abusive and emotionally hurtful statement any child of ANY AGE can hear. Please parents, STOP! These words bring tears to my eyes. Never use them!
- YOU ARE A NUISANCE / STUPID / DUMB / **: Really? Label a child's behavior as inappropriate, do not label a child or a child's character. Not only will the child start hating the parent within but also hating himself or herself for the rest of his / her life. Could we possibly be that for the child instead? A nuisance! After all a child learns from its caregivers. They learn what they see, they do what we do, they think as we. If you feel a child is a nuisance, it is a RED FLAG for the frustrations and emotional emptiness you harbor within. I am sure life is hard, but it is not the child's fault. Get help and find healthy ways to feel better.
- I AM YOUR PARENT, I KNOW WHATS BEST FOR YOU. YOU NEED TO STOP BECAUSE I TOLD YOU TO STOP!: Our task as parents is to be our child's gentle guide, be supportive, patient with their mistakes and allow them to grow with grace. One moment of stubbornness is not the end of the world. It is best for the child if we speak with affection, display kindness and care and take the time to find out why the child is being difficult. Teach a child with logical explanation of why they must act in certain ways, what are the reasons and benefits. We cannot teach a child by control and coercion, neither with criticism or threat.
- YOUR SIBLING IS BETTER THAN YOU: Honestly, I have been compared all my childhood. It is a terrible experience which directly impacts not only a child's self-confidence but also to a child's relationship with his or her sibling. My sister was always called out better than me, not only did it make me dislike her deeply but also led me to a major 'Inferiority Complex'. In my growing years my friends knew a lot more of me than my father and sister did, simply because the non-stop comparisons and criticisms left me feeling ABANDONED, I detached myself from them so that I would feel less harm and less threatened. Never compare! Yes, inspire them, challenge them but not at the cost of making them feel 'small'. Stop using these 'little tricks'. These little tricks cause big harm.
- YOU WILL FAIL / WHAT WILL OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU: I have heard this a ton of times from my family members and know tons of parents to do that to their children. Will the child then not be distant, silent, have anger issues, feel insecure and actually fail in life?! The messages we drill in their SUBCONSCIOUS MINDS live there forever, silently operating their entire life.
A smart, go-getter child is created by drilling FAITH, OPTIMISM and TRUST in a child's mind. When the child knows that s/he will be supported irrespective of societal judgment, a strong emotional insulation is created, which gives the child strength to surpass all hurdles. We can either choose between the child feeling confident or feeling pressurized to please the society. We cannot have both.
As parents our main duty at ANY and ALL given time is to make our children feel emotionally and physically secure, safe, confident. Our words, expressions, behaviors and choices for them have a deep impact on their minds. Their minds are fragile and they will make a decision early on in life if the world is good or bad based on how their parents, caregivers and adults around them talk to them and treat them.
I am confident that every parent on this planet has the capacity to be an the awesomest parent. It is a matter of small changes in our beliefs, perception and the little changes we can make within to bring wonderful outcomes. I will happy to answer any related questions you have. Good luck on your parenting journey.