“Tell a child often enough how bad he is and he will most certainly become bad”
If you catch yourself saying “he’s such a biter!”; “she is so whiny”; “what a bad kid!”; “he only makes trouble, never listens”; “oh sorry..she never shares.” about your child when they are around it could be sending a message you really don’t want to send. The thing is, children will often become what their parents believe them to be.
Children are most often tuned in to what we are saying, even if it seems like they are totally absorbed in their play or off doing something else, it will matter if you describe your child to the pediatrician as a “biter”, to your best mom pal as a “bad, bad, trouble maker” or to the cashier “such a whiny kid!”.
It can be tough and tiring to deal with biting, whines, hitting and those curious little hands that touch everything. Many children do go through behaviors that will baffle us, bewilder us and make some days seem ever so long! Challenges with behavior are bound to happen. If you find yourself in a phase that is truly challenging, try to remember, these moments are a great chance to show kindness, compassion and understanding.
Venting out frustrations to someone that is trusting, non-judgmental and willing to listen can be truly helpful in getting past such stages. On the other hand, it really does matter what we say about our children, to them directly and also what we say about them to other people. When you need to talk about bad moments it can be helpful to:
Vent out your frustrations with bad behavior only out of ear shot, and with the intent to let it go. Don’t let a bad moment define your child as a bad kid.
Avoid re-telling the “awful” things your child did over and over again. This creates a negative yet powerful story for your child to follow.
Look for the good moments, and try to talk about those with your friends. You know, the moments that make you laugh, like when a little face full of tomato sauce gives you a huge smile. The moments that fill your heart with warmth like siblings holding hands, seeing your child tell stories to the dog or when you get offered a big squeezy hug.
Tune in to all the wonder that being a parent can be all about. Believe that your child is good. The more positive things you think and say about your child, the more connected you will feel and more connection leads to more cooperation.
Peace & Be Well,