Try as we might, every parent breaks down sooner or later. It’s not easy to stay calm and always do the right thing. Sometimes, we explode from all the pressure and unfortunately, our kids are right there in the line of fire. Here are the stupid things we say to our kids.
- “Get along back there or I’m going to turn this car right around!”
You’re headed to Disney World, a big family event, or even something you’ve already spent big money on, tickets in hand. When the kids start trying to murder each other in the backseat and they won’t listen to your kind and calming words of please not doing that, it’s very easy to erupt into a volcano of anger. It’s definitely angering, no denying that. However, it’s stupid to say this because you’re not going to turn back home and the kids know it too.
- “Eat that food! There are children starving in other countries!”
Children are starving in our own country. And in other countries too. And adults are starving. Children don’t really get this bigger picture problem in our world. If you want them to know about the starving epidemic in our world (particularly what’s been happening in Venezuela lately), take them to a charity where they can give back and see the people they’re helping.
- “Clean this room now or I’m throwing all these toys away!”
How many times did you ask your daughter to pick up those toys in a kind voice? 9? And then she has the audacity to say something snippy to you? How dare she! But telling her you’re throwing it all away is idiotic because she knows that would be like throwing away money and you’re not just going to do that.
- “Stop crying and I’ll buy it for you.”
So you’re shopping and your child throws a fit. He wants candy, and he wants it now. So to quiet him down, you give in to what he wants. Now he’s being good and quiet, eating his candy, but you’ve also taught him that if he behaves badly, he’ll get what he wants.
- “Wait until your dad (or mom) gets home!”
We’ve all shouted this one in frustration, eager for our spouses to return home and give us a small break from the stresses of parenting. However, when you tell this to your child, you let them think you’ve got no control over their behavior. Plus, they’ll learn to be fearful of their other parent. When the behavior is bad, punishment must be immediate in order for the consequences to be effective.
The next time your kids drive you wild and you’re tempted to shout one of these things out, hold your tongue. Take a moment and calm down first. And if you do say one of these things again, apologize and use it as a teachable moment for your kids.