Parenting is way different now than when our parents were raising us. While that doesn't mean that one is better than the other, we must remember that as the times change, so too must parenting evolve.
On that note, experts not only offer solutions to new challenges, but also look for better solutions to even age-old parenting problems. These are backed up by research and could mean a positive difference in your child's growing years -- and may be also mean a better relationship for you and your child in the long run. Here, we list some of the phrases that you shouldn’t say to your child.
1. "Finish your food." Nutritionist dietician Jill Castle says, the "clean plate rule" encourages children to ignore their appetite. Children who grew up with this rule tend to eat more than they should, which could lead to obesity and more health problems. Instead, teach kids to listen to their own body's hunger cues.
2. "Just ignore the bully." Whether your child is the victim or a bystander, it's time to put a stop to this apathetic attitude. Besides, this doesn't always work. The key to stopping bullying is a community effort. It's a better parenting practice to empower your child to stand up to a bully for everyone’s benefit.
3. "Good job!" Praise, when given inappropriately, can change your child's mindset to her disadvantage. According to renowned psychologist Carol Dweck, Ph.D., it's better to praise a child's specific efforts than focusing on skills alone. Instead of saying, "Good job!" say "You really tried your best on that!"
4. "Practice makes perfect." While that statement is true, it also could send the message that shortcomings and mistakes happen because the child didn't practice enough -- a huge blow to their self-esteem. Instead of focusing on the end product, highlight the process and what your child did to arrive at the result.
5. "Don't talk to strangers." Safety is a top priority, but it's time to stop threatening the young ones that cops/guards will apprehend them if they don't behave or do as they are told. Instead, empower kids and teach them to recognize persons – even strangers -- who can help them, like a policeman or a woman with kids.
6. "Give your uncle a hug." Speaking of stranger danger, forcing them to do this could confuse them on what to do when someone else asks to hug or kiss them. Yes, it's a sign of respect to elders, but maybe stick to "pagmamano" as a sign of respect, so it's clear to the kids that they should always say no to inappropriate advances.
7. "Let's talk about, you know, that thing..." You should talk to your child about sex education. But while you're at it, stop giving private parts cute names or using weird allegories. Sex ed should not be taboo; it's vital to learning about personal choices, body changes, and protection. Keeping it simple and direct to the point makes it so much easier and less awkward.
8. "Don't cry." Crying is a normal expression to of emotion when hurt. Tell your child that it's okay to cry, and then help him process what he's feeling. With this, you’re helping your child learn to regulate his emotions, which is a crucial life skill. It is a different matter, however, when he uses crying to get what he wants.
9. "You're okay. It's no big deal." Wrong. It may be a big deal to your child. We know you want to reassure him that he's going to be okay, but try to first acknowledge your child's feelings and empathize. Say, "I know you really wanted to do that, but it’s not going to work," or "I’m sorry you’re disappointed and the answer is no."
10. "Stop it right now… or else..." Giving threats is not a habit you want your child to copy from you -- it could mean losing a teaching opportunity, just like when you throw the "Because I said so" card. We suggest you offer an alternate activity or action, or simply explain why you want them to stop. The key here is calm, clear, and age-appropriate communication.