29 Apr How Negative Language Impacts Children and Here’s How to Speak More Effectively
Children growing up in families where parents frequently use derogatory, dishonoring and discourteous language on them and make them disgruntled for being “not enough” usually succumb to low-esteem. In these households, many children come of age hearing such sentences as
You’re a bad child!
I wish you weren’t born to us!
You’re dumb and good-for-nothing!
You’ve been a curse to us!
Your cousin is much smarter than you!
A lot of parents count on their inappropriate belief to use bad, off-putting language to make their children mature and conscientious. Otherwise, with the intent to impose parental rights on their children, they think they can do whatever they want with them. Such unmannerly parents, not just every time find a cause for using scornful and bullying words on their children but engage in frequently comparing them with siblings and peers.
The harmful effects of negative language
Infants take to grasping facial expressions much before they actually start communicating. The constant clamour of shouting and screaming in the house affects them from a very early age. When a child attains the age of 2, it begins responding to what its parents pass on. You may have come across mothers who keep on yelling at their children. How does the outcome manifest? Either the children yell back or retract into their own world. Gradually as a child grows older, the negative statements which its parents thrust upon, start impacting their emotional well-being intensely. All a child is left with are feelings of being unloved, unwelcome, undefended and undeserved.
Upsetting, abusive words which parents often use on their children have an emotional impact on almost every aspect of their lives. It retards their cognitive, demonstrative and collective development. Over time, they start developing feelings of being “not-so-perfect” and unable to fulfil their parents’ expectations. Strong feelings of inadequacy engulf them. They hold themselves responsible to be always at the receiving end of their parents’ frequent rebukes and deleterious communication. They hammer in a feeling that they’re being constantly kept under a scanner and judged all the time.
These hapless children often embed an urge to treat themselves harshly. It can also make them highly demanding. They start laying down unreasonably high expectations for themselves and others. There’s a tremendous amount of ingrained guilt feelings. They become extremely sensitive to adverse comments. Children who have abusive parents often land themselves into the vicious cycle of crime, substance abuse, self-harm etc. or even commit suicide.
The balmy upshots of positive language
Positive language has a calming, beneficial effect on children. It can deliver much more clarity than negative language. It makes your child feel loved and wanted. This, in turn, helps your child to realize self-worth and boost self-assurance. Here we take a look at a number of suggestions directed to responsible parenting.
Cope up with your own baggage of anger and frustration with psychotherapy.
Make generous use of approving language which you would also like your children to imbibe and apply while they talk to you.
With the exception of safety-related issues where an occasional, forceful “No” is needed, strive having recourse to positive yet assertive language with your child. Rather than pointing out “what not to do” hint at “what to do”.
Also when you reward your child for a positive exposition of behaviour, the result can be highly advantageous for both of you.
Show the respect that your children deserve.
Make yourself more responsive, articulate and warm while dealing with your children and answering to their every little query.
Don’t unnecessarily draw in comparisons with other children. Every child is unique in many ways. Make their idiosyncrasy your prized possession.
Steer clear of using disparaging gender biased comments and lingos in front of your children.
Stay away from having your say with hurtful, threatening words while speaking to them. For example, when you say “I’ll leave you and go away”, makes for a statement that’s an absolute no-no.
Avoid using sarcasm while you’re in talks with your children.
When you’re disturbed with your own problems, clearly tell your child to bid you some time. Spell this out with poise and composure in spite of being upset.
Don’t resort to any kind of emotional blackmail while having a word or two with your children. Such language can bewilder innocent minds no ends and even spoil your children for a fight.
Make sure that you practice enough positive discipline with your child which is miles better than meting out bodily harm or punishment.
Your child can pick up feelings of worth only in an ambience where you as a parent appreciate their individual viewpoints and differences, tolerate their mistakes, engage in candid, transparent conversations and lay down flexible rules – yes, the kind of ambience that you’ll find in a nurturing family.