Fatherhood is one of the highly rewarding tasks one can undertake as an adult. It is also one of the most difficult things anyone can get involved in.Fathers are often preoccupied with creating a safe home and providing financially for their children’s future.
This can cause some fathers to lose sight of their children’s emotional needs, which in turn can be detrimental to their development and mental well-being. Aside that, some fathers can inadvertently say things that have negative impact on the minds of their kids; cultivate long-term issues like low self-esteem, diminished confidence, and unhealthy competitiveness.
One of the phrases fathers should never use for their kids during their years of development is ‘don’t make me to be ashamed of you.’ The phrase is used either to solicit for good behaviour or discourage mischief-making. But fathers who use this phrase run the risk of wounding their children emotionally and hindering their ability to process the praise and constructive criticism. Children who hear this phrase are likely to constantly seek approval in the eyes of others, and this can breed significant issues when they attempt to form romantic relationships in their later lives.
Telling your kids, ‘When I was your age, I was doing great’, may be fostering an unhealthy competitiveness in them and creating an infant mind-set that is desperate to validate its self-worth. This takes on a more sinister form later in life as it encourages individuals to pursue goals to please others rather than personal gratification. This can lead to long-term unhappiness and prevent your children from enjoying a full and contented life.
Don’t tell your kids ‘The other children performed better than you on that test. Comparing your child’s level of achievement with their peers’ can have a highly detrimental impact on their ability to form relationships with people of the same age. Instead of seeing the value in friendship and forming bonds, they are more likely to view their peers and competitors as children who must be superseded at every opportunity.
The process of comparing children negatively to their classmates can also create self-esteem issues in later life, as well as an innate tendency to validate themselves in accordance with the actions of others.
When you tell your kids that “You’re just like your mother”, you are creating negative connotations in your child’s mind and causing them to take a dim of view of the traits that they share with their mother.
You are presenting a clear sign that you are unhappy with your relationship, unsettling the child and inadvertently engaging them in a parental conflict. Your child may also become a subconscious outlet for your angst and frustration, which in turn lowers their self-esteem.
When you tell your child you will love them forever if they do something specific for you is bad. As a father, you are supposed to love your child unconditionally. This type of seemingly innocent and playful phrase actually suggests that a father’s love is conditional on your behaviour and fulfilment of their wishes.
Such a phrase, when used over time, also conditions children to grow into people-pleasers, as they set aside their own wishes to satisfy others regardless of the circumstances.