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Be selective, choose positive phrases and raise emotionally intelligent children.

By Dr Himani Khanna

In these times of pandemic where kids are home and cooped up inside their houses not able to pursue their routines, lack of physical activity and increased screen time has become a new challenge for parents to cope with. A lot of teenagers  may find their parents nagging them about studying and doing other activities.

As parents, it is definitely our duty to discipline our children, but we need to avoid forcing our thinking on the child. Especially for teenagers, we can only empower them with the correct information, with logical reasoning and then let them make an informed decision. For our younger kids, too, we can try to divert their attention to interesting activities. As parents, how we talk to our kids is very important to create the right impact. Here are five such magical phrases that you can say and phrases that you must not say to your child during this lockdown.

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1. Never hesitate to say ‘I love you’: These three magical words can never go wrong . Back up your words with actions, spend time with your child playing, hugging, chatting, discussing their problems. Never say ‘Oh, you drive me mad’.

2. Replace your ‘No’ with ‘Let’s do it this way’: If your child is doing something in an inappropriate way, instead of saying ‘don’t do it’ or ‘you cannot do a single thing right’, ‘you are so annoying, always spoiling things’, you may try using words like ‘Okay, let’s try it again to do it better’, ‘Everyone can go wrong, let’s try again, no one is perfect’, ‘Let’s clean the mess together, let me help you clean it’. Replacing a “no” can work wonders for your child.

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3. It’s okay to say ‘I am sorry’: It is alright to be angry but at times as adults we end up losing our temper and scold a child beyond a certain limit, which can be emotionally harming for their self-esteem. When we make a mistake as adults, we shouldn’t shy away from saying sorry.

4. ‘Everything will be okay’: These words can be reassuring to a child and help them face the current circumstances. Every experience teaches us new things so this phase shows that we are all in it together and soon everything will be fine.

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5. Never say ‘I hate my job’, ‘I can never afford this for you’: Instead, you can discuss your dreams and explain to the child that you are saving for a rainy day and provide your child the best education and a comfortable life. During chores, instead of getting irritated, you may actually ask your child for help and show that you will be grateful for their help.

The words we use and how we express ourselves impacts our child’s development, so be selective, choose positive phrases and raise emotionally intelligent children.

(The writer is Developmental Paediatrician & Co-Founder of Continua Kids)

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