You Just Broke Your Child’s Heart!!!

Posted by on October 25, 2014 in Anger, Depression, Guilt, Rejected, Self Esteem, Shame | 1 comment

You Just Broke Your Child’s Heart!!!

The Negative Things Adults Say To Children.

Here are just some of the shocking negative things that adults say to children, I have collected hundreds of these put-downs, criticisms and  threats over the years I have been working with clients. Some are so shocking just the thought of having to hear them from a parents mouth is enough to make you shudder!

One client’s mother told him every day from the time he was two years old “You are a F….. Little C..!  She said many other hurtful things as well, so you can imagine the impact that had on this young boy’s life and why he turned to drugs, self-harm and repeatedly suicide attempts later in life?

Perhaps you will recognise some of these put-downs, criticisms and threats from your own childhood and how much they hurt and wounded you; perhaps you have even said some of them to your own children?

 “Shut up”, 
“For goodness sake, be quite”,
“Go away; I’m busy”,
“You are a very bad boy/girl”,
“You are so selfish”,
“Don’t be so stupid”
“Don’t be so silly”,
“You are an idiot”,
“You can go to your room without any tea/dinner/supper”,
“Get out of my sight”,“I can’t stand to see your face”,
“You make me very angry”
“It’s all your fault”
“You are driving me crazy”,
“I am going to teach you a lesson you won’t forget”,
“Don’t interrupt me when I’m talking”,
“You never listen to me”,
“Are you deaf or something?”,
“Go away and play”,
“I don’t have time for you right now”,
“Stop being a cry baby”,
“Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?”,
“What on earth are you crying for?”,
“You have nothing to cry about”,
“You must eat everything on your plate, or you’ll get no desert”
“Why don’t you eat properly?”,
“Why don’t you speak properly?”
“Speak up I can’t hear you”
“Don’t talk to strangers”
“You cannot trust anybody”
“You must not trust strange men”
“Men are bad”
“Men only want you for one thing”
“Stop making that stupid noise”
“Why don’t you grow up?”
“Stop being so childish”
“Stop being such a baby”
“For goodness sake, grow up”
“Why can’t you behave yourself properly”
“Why don’t you have some manners?”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full”
“Don’t get yourself dirty”
“Stop sniveling”
“Sometimes I wish I had never had you”
“Don’t touch that”
“Don’t do that”
“Don’t make a noise, you’re giving me a headache”
“Don’t shout”
“Don’t answer back”
“Don’t make such a fuss”
“Don’t pull stupid faces”
“After all I went through to have you, …”
“I don’t know why I ever bothered to have you”
“Don’t make me angry or you’ll pay for it”
“Do your chores or you’ll get no allowance”
“It’s tough out there”
“Life is difficult”
“Life is tough”
“Life is hard, live with it”
“Life is painful”
“I have to work very hard to support you”
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”

And on and on and on…. endless, unconscious statements learned by rote from our parents, statements that we hated so much,  now we pass them on to our children as automatically as we get up each day.

So how can we stop ourselves from saying such hurtful things to our innocent children?


First thing to know is that mostly these thoughts are so ‘automatic’ we don’t even realise we’re saying them until they start coming out of our mouth.  These are some suggestions I offer to my clients;

  • You will need to start becoming mindful of the things you say to your children.
  • Each time such thoughts come into your head and you want to lash out, put your hand over your mouth or lightly bite your tongue, to literally bite off the words before they come out.
  • If you hear yourself start saying anything negative to your child, you can quickly change the words or the tone of your voice as you say it, the tone of your voice has a huge impact behind your words.
  • If you are feeling angry or frustrated with your child and feel like shouting, start singing at the top of your voice, even if it sounds like gibberish or stupid to you, your child will think you are playing a game with them and will start singing too.
  • Try to avoid passing your parents’ negative beliefs onto your children; “It’s tough out there”,”Life is difficult”,“Life is tough”,“Life is hard, live with it”,“Life is painful”,”I have to work very hard to support you”,”There’s no such thing as a free lunch” are all examples of negative beliefs that have been passed down to you and you believed to be true. 
  • Try to remember when your parents said hurtful things to you, how that made you feel.


Yes, children can be frustrating, annoying, and tiresome and demanding, they can try our patience, they can drive us up the wall, crackers and insane. But we are their parents, the people they should be able to bank to trust to protect us, to keep us save from harm, including verbal abuse.

But as parents we are largely responsible for what our children will ultimately believe about themselves. We are also responsible for giving them positive encouragement and approval, allowing them to grow up happy, well – adjusted and with good self-esteem.

Be careful what you say to your children. Or, one day with the stinging words you have said still ringing in their heads, they might decide they don’t want you to be their parent any more, and will walk away and never look back.  

And, of course, I’d love to see you in the comments box below – tell us about how your parents comments, both negative and positive had a profound effect on your life.

 

© Annie Moyes –Oct. 2012 – All Rights Reserved

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