Never Say Never (or Always)
Posted: Dec 21, 2017
Do you catch yourself saying something like "You never make your bed" or "You are always late for dinner" to your child?
I know I still do it, and I’m really conscious of my words and actions to myself and especially to kids. Sometimes it is so hard to break the habit.
When my mom said something like these, I used to fight with her. Of course, being a child, having a good argument was really difficult. After all it was my mom and kids should respect moms and moms should know the best. But honestly, sometimes parents just have to admit we don’t know everything and we are wrong and we were angry and anxious because of other things.
I also very well remember, how upset I was, because she didn’t seem to remember times when I did it (whatever it was that I »never« did).
Whenever we use things like NEVER or ALWAYS, we need to questions those definite words. Often times they are simply not true. And sadly, often times we say those words in the worst possible situations – when we are upset, nervous, in a hurry, when we are arguing, even yelling or when we want something to be done…
Sometimes these words are not harmful as other times. Think about: "You never make bed" and "You never do anything right/good…". While living with messed bed is not neat, but it’s really not a big deal, the later is much worse. It labels the child and if said enough times, he will live his life believing, that whatever he does, it’s no good. You are actually programming your kid or grademiners for failure.
The same goes with word ALWAYS – "You are always late", "You are always so slow", "You are always…"
One other thing – when you are proud of your child or he does something, what do you say? You probably don’t say "You are ALWAYS so good/excellent/…" but you say "You’ve done this (one time) right/well.."
So think about it – what your child hears is actually: "You never do anything right, but this time you’ve done it."… and he thinks.. well, I don’t know how I managed to do it this time, my mom says I never do anything right, so probably it was not me, maybe she just says so to comfort me, maybe it just looked that I’m good…. and on and on and on… having this inner talks that can be lethal.
Be aware of your words.
Think about them before you speak.
Question your statements.
And if they still slip out of your mouth, it’s much better to correct them immediately and admit that they were a mistake rather than be quite just to look smart and "always right".