Recently I’ve caught myself wanting to say things to my toddler when he’s crying or upset that I hate hearing myself.
I’ve used some of these reactions to emotional responses myself, but I’m making it a point now to stop while they’re still young.
And I’ve asked my sister to do the same should we have her raise them, Lord forbid, if my husband and I die early.
1.)”shhh, it’s ok.” I hate this one the most. Just because they are little doesn’t mean their fears and frustrations aren’t valid.
Just because their whining or crying might grate on my last nerve doesn’t diminish their right to feel. If they’re crying, it’s not ok. And they shouldn’t be silenced. Besides, it IS ok to cry! Crying can be healthy, actually. It breaks down the cortisol stress hormone. Science, people!
It’s my job to show them how things can usually be ok. Not decide for them.
I suspect it will help with critical thinking. Shushing shuts them down. And they’re little. What’s ok for me can feel like the end of life as they know it to them.
Grow up, adult!
2.)”You shouldn’t feel that way.” No wait, I hate this one more! How many times have I heard that one? Way too many.
People feel what they feel. It’s not my job to control or change that. With my tiny humans, it’s my job to stop what I’m doing and put words on their feelings. Give them the language to say, “I’m sad because… or “I’m angry that…
It’s called emotional intelligence. I hope they learn more good than bad from me.
3.)”Don’t be so sensitive.” My favorite! Or “you’re too sensitive.” To the contrary, I will encourage sensitivity at every turn. We should be sensitive. Perhaps letting them be and grow to think for themselves they can be simultaneously sensitive and emotionally mature.
I’m no psychologist but I know what it’s like to be told to be something I’m not and I’m determined to walk a 180 from that sort of parenting.
Let me hear from you!
What do you hate hearing and vow not to say to your little ones?