Psychologists believe that the way parents talk to their children becomes their inner voice. From a scientific point of view, the human brain has more neural connections during the childhood which means it absorbs everything that happens in the surrounding to help the children to adjust to the world around them. Over the years, the brain holds on the neural connections that are frequently used, and removes those we don’t use anymore.
In other words, the voice of our parents becomes our inner voice and the way they spoke to us during the childhood affects our self-esteem and the way we deal with ourselves as adults.
If an adult or a teenager has a critical inner voice which prevents them to try new things, it is probably their parents’ fault. Parents should be honest, supportive and friendly. They are supposed to be our motivators and guide us to the right path.
If you are a parent, make sure you avoid using these phrases when you talk to your child:
- ″You are not good enough″
If you tell your children that they are not good enough, you prevent them to achieve their goals and be what they want to be. Instead, be respectful and teach them that what they love to be or what they want to do is good enough.
- ″Stop crying″
Children usually cry when they have done something wrong, and that’s normal because they need to express their emotions. By using this phrase, you actually suppress their emotions. Instead, you should tell them that it’s absolutely alright to cry since we should never hide our emotions. Hug your child and explain them the mistake they made. Teach them that mistakes are crucial part of our lives and their purpose is to teach us valuable lessons so that we can become better people.
- ″Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister″?
Using this phrase will evoke rivalry between the siblings. This discourages the kids from trying the thing that their brother/sister is good at. It will also lead to a low self-esteem and high level of self-criticism.
- ″You are worthless″
This is the worst phrase that parents can tell to their child. Children always expect approval from their parents. If you don’t support them, they will seek approval from the outside world. Therefore, you should encourage your children by telling them that nobody is perfect and they can always do better next time.
- ″No dessert unless you finish your dinner″
Your child may perceive this phrase as a threat which in turn, may decrease their enjoyment of the meals and create negative attitude toward food. Instead, tell them that the meal is the first thing we should eat and the dessert always comes at the end.
- ″Big girls and boys don’t get scared″
This phrase suppresses children’s emotions. Remember that fear is not a bad thing. It just reminds us that we have to be more careful. Teach your children that in order to overcome their fears, they should face them. Tell them that fear is a normal emotion and happens to everyone.
- ″Let me help″
It is normal to offer your help to your children when they are struggling to solve a problem, like finishing a puzzle for instance. But you mustn’t do that. This undermines their independence and they will always rely on others for every problem they face later in their lives. Instead, ask guiding questions to help them find a solution.
- ″I’m disappointed in you″
It is really selfish to put the blame on your children for your disappointment. You can never be disappointed in your children because you are the one who should lead them on the right path and guide them every time they make a mistake.