Five things our kids shouldn’t hear us say…

Thanks for joining me the past few weeks for my series Three Things Our Kids Need to Hear Us Say.
In the same way that positive words impact our kids, negative words do too.
In fact, as RR Mama shared in her comment here a couple weeks ago, the impact can even be more significant…
“I read somewhere that for every one negative thing our kids hear, it takes five positive things to wipe it away. Makes me think before I say something.”
We’ve all had those moments where we’ve lost our patience and said something to our kids that we’ve later regretted. No mom is perfect. But some words can scar the very hearts of our children…
Five things our kids shouldn’t hear us say:
1. “Shame on you.”

2. “I’m disappointed in you.”

3. “What’s your problem?”

4. “How could you do something like that?”

5. “Your sister (or brother) doesn’t act like that; why do you?”
Tips for when you are frustrated or angry:
-Don’t shame your kids. Shaming them tells them there’s something wrong with them, not with their behavior.
-Instead of yelling, try lowering your voice. It often has a more powerful effect. Make eye contact with your kids and speak slowly and clearly. This not only allows you to make sure they’re listening, it sets an example for self control.
-Make sure your kids know your expectations. Talk to them ahead of time about listening to you the first time. (If they know you’re going to give them several chances before they get a consequence or before you get angry, chances are, they’ll take their time.)
-Don’t ask your kids to do something (or yell at them when they don’t). Tell them instead… “I need you to clear your plate,” instead of, “Can you please clear your plate?” You’ll be surprised at the way they respond. (I got this from a Nurtured Heart training class and it really works.) 


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  1. Thank you for this series. It has been reminder of the things I should be doing.

  2. Unfortunately, all of those are slippery "sayings" that just sort of pop out precariously. I know I've said them all to my kids. Oops…It takes time to retrain your mind and your mouth.

  3. Your posts on family are always practical and helpful. This was very good.Any chance you'd be willing to do a guest post on Family Fountain on marriage? I'm doing a Sunday series this year on marriage, and trying to use mostly guest-posters. Check out today's post by a young guy. You are a good writer and your post would add greatly to the series.Warren

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