Oh friends, it’s happened just like I knew it would, someone putting out there into the universe a list of things that is sure to make you feel bad about yourself. I recently stumbled upon an article titled “10 things we need to stop saying to our kids”. I read it and was not happy. Now to be completely fair there are a couple things on this list that I agree one shouldn’t say to kids, but also I have literally never heard anyone say those things to a child (Like “Just make mommy happy” or “I love you but I don’t like you”… those do seem harsh!) But anyway, my main issue with the article is with the many phrases that most of us parents say a lot, and for good reason, and I just don’t buy into this idea that by saying these things we are damaging our kids. I also wasn’t loving the way the article phrases things as if fact, when it is really just opinion. So fear not! Before you start to sweat and think you are just the worst parent ever, Mom Blogs Suck is here to tell you, you are probably doing just fine! So I will try and debunk a few of these “never ever says” from this article (link at bottom).
Sorry, but I say this often. Why? Because… two and three year olds. That’s why. If you have a toddler in this age range you KNOW kiddos cry all the time and most of the time it is for no reason whatsoever. Now Ok maybe there is a reason, but it’s usually because I asked WHAT show Superman wanted to watch, or what KIND of cereal he wants. Being a toddler can be hard and making choices can be difficult, but as parents we have to help them get past crying about it and help them express their feelings in more clear ways. My main reasoning for this is prepping my kids for the world! When we send Superman to preschool in a few months I don’t want to send him unable to appropriately deal with his emotions. So telling him not to cry, and helping him express himself in a way myself and others can understand is totally justified. We can talk about the issue, or he can go cool off in his room and cry it out. My rule of thumb is if you aren’t hurt, you don’t need to cry. To clarify, hurt can also mean emotionally hurt, but crying because he is not getting his way or not listening, well we need a different way to handle it. So… if you say this don’t worry, sometimes it just needs to be said.
Really? I think asking our kids to behave when we know they are capable is more fair. We are parents here people, not buddies. Of course we want out kids to be happy, that would be ideal! But it’s just not always gonna happen and as said above they need to learn to cope with their emotions. SO if we are going to daddy’s office or visiting an elderly friend or WHATEVER, I am going to remind my toddler mid-melt down that he needs to try to be good, simply because he knows what that means and how he needs to change his behavior. I think we can all agree it does not mean I don’t like him or want him to “be different” other than his attitude. Oh which brings me to my next point.
“I don’t like your attitude”.
It does not mean “I don’t like YOU right now. I don’t like how you feel, I don’t like how you’re expressing yourself, and you need to be someone other than who you are.”… good grief. Parents, caregivers, let’s chill shall we? I really don’t think your little one is going to have a personal crisis because you tell them they have an attitude.
“It’s not a big deal”.
Now for this one I can see what the author was trying to say, but it isn’t illustrated well. She is trying to say, don’t blow your kids off when they are trying to tell you something. I can agree with that sentiment! However I often tell Superman things aren’t a big deal. For example, dropping something, spilling something or generally doing something by accident… things that aren’t a big deal that he is prone to get upset about I am constantly reaffirming that they are not, in fact, a big deal. It helps him know that he’s not in trouble, and that some things should just happen! It’s not a big deal!
Now because we here at MBS (like that little acronym there? =P) like keeping it real I also have to point out that there are a lot of things in this article that are quoted in big fonts and positioned as fact that are just opinion. Keep in mind that while the article is coming from a voice of affirmed knowledge there are no medical journals cited or professionals quoted from studies on the subject. SO take it for what it is, one person’s journey with their own kid, but DON’T let it make you think you are doing something wrong. As long as your kid is happy, healthy, and as long as they are respected and loved you are doing just fine.
reference: 10 things we need to stop saying to our kids