Everything that parents say and do affects the children in one way or another. Specialists working with children and families answer the question: “What should parents never do in relation to children?” And each of them looks at it differently.
“Be the child, not a friend, but a parent”
Matthew Bates, teacher
I have over 10 years of teaching experience behind me. And based on my experience, I can say: the most harmful thing that parents do for their children is not to track their online activity. I saw parents who, upon learning that their child was saying obscene things to classmates or simply falling asleep in class, threw up their hands: “We knew that his laptop was working all night … But what can we do?”
My answer: be the child, not a friend, but a parent. Take your laptop and phone. Turn off Wi-Fi overnight. It’s not that hard. My students write in their essays about their virtual boyfriends, whom they have never seen in their lives. When parents find out about this, they are shocked, but at the same time they say that they “respect the privacy of the child.”
Will you still adhere to this principle if you find that your child, who is not yet 12 years old, is having a virtual romance with a stranger?
If a parent leaves the gun unattended and the child gets to it, people accuse the parents of keeping a loaded gun in the house and not following safety measures. The same logic should apply to parents who do not even make elementary attempts to control their child’s online exploits.
“Children should know that their parents love each other.”
Esther Finzi, family counselor
Here are four rules to keep in mind when talking to a child of any age. Some information can affect his self-esteem, and the consequences are very difficult to correct without therapy.
1. Don’t tell your child you didn’t plan it. If a child finds out that he was not expected, not wanted, he may feel unloved, unwanted, rejected, worthless. And this knowledge will be reflected in his whole life. Chances are good that he will find it difficult to communicate, make friends, and even build close relationships with romantic partners.
You may have already told your child that it “happened by accident.” But it’s never too late to explain: “Yes, we did not plan children then, but when you were born, we loved you with all our hearts. You have become a whole world for us. “
2. Don’t tell your children about financial problems. If you and your partner are having money problems, I would not advise discussing them with your child unless absolutely necessary. Children cannot understand you and, moreover, cannot help you. If children are aware of your financial troubles, they can feel like a burden. Therefore, I would advise you to discuss such issues exclusively behind closed doors.
3. Do not discuss the relationship with your partner with your children. I would not advise discussing your relationship with your partner too frankly with your child. Children need to know that their parents love each other. It’s so nice to know that you have a strong family, that you live in an atmosphere of support and acceptance. Nevertheless, children do not need intimate details. The child is not yet mature enough to understand some “adult” things.
4. Never call your child names. This can lead to low self-esteem. If you want to criticize a child, evaluate his actions, not the nature or personality traits. Instead of: “How can you be so crooked,” say: “You shouldn’t have done this …”, “Your actions hurt people.”
“It is useful for children to learn to take responsibility for their own choices”
Marsia Sirota, psychotherapist
Children need to feel loved, important to their parents, and protected. They need guidance and boundaries to embrace family values and behaviors.
In addition, it is useful for children to learn to take responsibility for their own choices, to cope with troubles. But sometimes parents destroy the child’s psyche with their behavior and words. To prevent this from happening to you, in any case:
- Do not neglect your child, do not make him feel unnecessary and unattractive;
- Don’t leave your child unprotected, don’t let him feel useless and worthless;
- Do not insult children, do not make them feel guilty;
- Don’t make children feel abandoned. A child who is not needed by his own parents may never understand how to properly handle himself and his desires;
- Do not patronize or overprotect children. Too obsessive care and guardianship causes them anxiety, depression and powerlessness;
- Do not do too much for children and for children. Give them the opportunity to feel confident in their abilities;
- Do not reward the child for every little thing and do not encourage any behavior so that children do not have a distorted view of life;
- Do not violate the boundaries of the child so that he learns to respect and love himself;
- Do not use double binds in conversations, otherwise the child may doubt his own ability to see the world;
- Don’t teach your child to hate.
Children are the future. And the task of parents is to take care of them and develop them so that they grow strong and can fulfill their dreams. This is why the above list is useful for anyone who already has a child and those who are just planning to have children.