Are You Abusing Your Child?

By First Posted: Jul 25, 2011 Mon 7:56 AM Updated: Jun 15, 2017 Thu 7:08 AM
Are You Abusing Your Child?
Image Credit: ABC News

It is easy to be judgmental when we see a young mother scolding her child. It is so easy to judge her and offer unsolicited advice on how to bring up a child with love. But it is really difficult to be that young mother. You have a hundred things to do, besides bringing up a child properly. It is your responsibility to teach your child virtues like discipline, hard work, politeness, kindness, consideration etc. How can you do it all without scolding once in a while?

Having said that, it is important to know the difference between constructive criticism (scolding) and verbal abuse. Often, young moms are so hard pressed for time and irritated, that they snap. It is completely normal and natural to find yourself in this situation. But how you control your behaviour and words is very important. The way you scold your child will leave long-term effects on your child's personality. So your criticism should be positive and to-the-point. Here are a few examples of what is done, and what isn't.
"Get Lost"
When you are really irritated, you might end up saying something like this or "Leave me alone!". This is most oftenly used when you are busy with chores and your child is bothering you. A better way to handle this is to give your child a game/colouring book/toy/catroon etc to keep it occupied while you get your chores done. If you do feel pushed to say it, say it with a please. "Leave me alone for 5 minutes, please."
"Learn From Your Sister"
Comparing one child to another is never a good idea. If you want your child to be less messier, say so without bringing his sister/brother  into it. Opt for something positive like "I would really appreciate it if you could help me with keeping the house clean."
"You Are So Stupid!"
Really? Never use any adjectives like this when speaking to your child. If you need to criticise, refer to the matter at hand. Do not make generalizations that may hurt the child's feelings permanently. Try saying something like "What you have just done is really stupid. I expect better from you honey."
"I'll Tell Your Daddy"
Threatening your child with a scolding from "daddy" is so inconsiderate. You are putting negative thoughts into the child's mind, about his father. You are damaging the father-child relationship. If you find it hard to cope with things yourself, look for new ways. Remember the carrot and stick. Use it to tackle the situations on your own.
"Stop Whining!"
If your child is crying, this is not the correct way to make him/her stop. Saying something like this shows to the child that ypou don't care about how he/she feels. Try something like "I know you are sad/disappointed honey. But crying won't help you in any way."
"Can't You Get Anything Right?"
This is another way of saying that you believe your child is stupid and incompetent. Try avoiding such words because they can damage your child's self confidence and faith in his/her abilities. Opt for something like "You can do better honey! Why don't you try again?"

When criticising, be a little measured in your words and avoid generalizations. This is your child after all, you don't want to cause any damage, right?
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