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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

3 Things We Should Probably Stop Telling Our Children

By Makisha Dixon
Mommies Network Content blogger

Ok, so as moms we all want to shower our precious angels with nothing but compliments, believe that they everything they do is beyond perfect, and dare anyone, another kid included, to challenge the wonderful sugar plum fairy that is our children. Sound familiar? But, truth is, we know the not so perfect, imperfections of our children. We know they tell little white lies, pitch fits, and hide their broccoli under the table. We get that. And if we are honest with ourselves, we realize that we are partly to blame for those behaviors. And a huge part of it comes from the type our everyday dialogue with our children. In order for our children to be truly well adjusted, we must be willing to give the good along with the bad. Here are just a few not so good “goods” that we should stop telling our children today.

You’re perfect
Ok, so this phrase seems harmless and truthfully could be quite reassuring to a 5 year old right? I mean, what’s wrong with telling a child that they are perfect. Well, quite frankly, everything. In our eyes as our children are born perfect.  They could do no wrong. And while in the back of our minds we know better, a child could use that as a platform for a not so healthy mindset. Instead, children should know that they and no one else is perfect. We all have faults, and imperfection that we or others may not like or accept.  This makes us unique. The key is learning to respect and embrace those imperfections in ourselves and others. Learning to be proud of who you are. So if Ava does ask, “Mom, am I perfect?” Simply instead say “No one’s perfect”, but like Mr. Bruno says “You’re amazing, just the way you are”.

It’s not your fault
So sometimes it’s not their fault. An ice cream snatching bully with a chip on his shoulder.  A lunch lady with a bad attitude and bad hairdo.  And of course, the actions or behaviors of people intending to  do harm to others. Aside from the actions of criminals, some things are just part of the school experience.  Mason can’t help those random encounters that has happened to all of us at some point in our school years. But what he can help is his action and reaction. If a bully is picking on another kid and Mason joins in, yes that is his fault. If the lunch lady is having a bad hair day and Mason decides to tell her this, yes that is his fault. And we have to let them take responsibility for those actions and reactions that they can control.  We have to let them learn the lessons that come with those actions and reactions, consequence and all.  This builds accountability and character, one that we can be proud.

“Mom will always be here, no matter what”

Ok, I’m sorry, this one is a little hard for me as well. Why would we take that reassure away from our children? Of course we will always be there. Why would we tell our six year old anything different? Ok, so clearly this tip is not geared toward a six year old. We want to keep their sense of security as much as possible. But as our children get older, we have to learn to have to have those often difficult, life conversations with them. And one is letting them know that Mom or Dad may not always be there. And the values and lessons that you are trying to teach them is only to make them an independent, capable adult who can survive on their own. The world we live in now is unimaginably harsh. We have to prepare them for this as much as we can.  Wouldn’t we want them to be capable of standing on their own? So always reassure them, at any age, that while we are here, we will always be there to guide and love. But our job as parents is to prepare them to be independent, productive individuals. 

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