10 ‘Harmless’ Comments That Could Be Impacting On Your Childs Mental Health

Everyday we have hundreds of discussions with many different people. Some will leave a lasting impression and some will be easily forgotten. How do we know how much of an impact these conversations and comments really have on someone? Here’s 10 comments that are easily made in everyday life, comments thrown around with no real thought, but ones that could leave a lasting impression in the minds of a young child.

  1.  “Well, life isn’t fair” – a sure fire way to make any child dread the rest of their days! You speak from experience so you think it’s wise to pass on this knowledge, but there are going to be times in life that life is fair. That life does work out the way you want it to. But by making comments like this we are suggesting that regardless of hard work, commitment, and dedication, life will never work out the way you want it to. Implanting that into a young mind, will only narrow the horizons and world they allow themselves to see. Let them learn what the world has to offer.
  2. ”Everyone gets sad at some point in their lives” – that’s true, it’s very unlikely you will get through life without experiencing sadness, however, if your child opens up to you about feelings of sadness, don’t dismiss them, listen and talk to them, find out how you can help, and find strategies to help if needed. By making them feel like it’s normal to struggle with feelings of sadness will only prevent them from asking for help in the future if it becomes too much to handle.
  3. ”Don’t be selfish” – it’s a strange thing to learn as a child, because as we grow older, we then tend to learn how to be selfish for our own well being. Learning to share and think of others as a child is a big life development and crucial, but as we get older it’s important we also know it’s ok to be selfish sometimes when required.
  4. ”I’m not mad, I’m disappointed” – the words every child dreads. We would rather you were angry. To know we have disappointed you is far worse than knowing we have temporarily made you angry, and that feeling of being a disappointment will stick with us a lot lot longer, and to us is a label.
  5. ”You can’t go out wearing that” – dress and fashion sense is a form of expression, and a way of showing and presenting ones personality. By making comments like this, you’re taking away your child’s individuality. You’re showing it’s not ok to be different. If your child doesn’t mind going out in what they are wearing, then you shouldn’t mind either.
  6. ”Hasn’t your skin gotten bad” – acne, the bane of most teenagers lives. Parents do not worry, we are conscious enough about it without it needing to be pointed out every 2 mins when it gets worse!
  7. ”Don’t be shy” – have you ever thought your child may be shy due to anxiety? That maybe it’s not just a personality trait but a mental health issue? Supporting your child rather than pushing your child will give them the roots they need to explore within an environment they feel safe.
  8. “You need to drop the attitude” – attitude is part of our personality, we either have it or we don’t. You wouldn’t ask us to drop the caring side of us, so asking us to drop a side of our personality is again showing it’s not ok to be you. Showing the child how to present the attitude in the correct manner would be more helpful than asking the child to drop an aspect of their personality which will help them grow into a fierce resilient adult.
  9. ”You are too young for it to be a mental health problem” – you are never too young for mental health problems to strike. They can happen to anyone at any point, so don’t ever dismiss your child or make them feel silly for talking or speaking out, listen and take them seriously.
  10. “There are so many people worse off than you” – making a child feel guilty about how they are feeling is only going to make them internalise their feelings more. To this person their world may not feel like it could get any worse, and they can’t see how anyone else’s could feel any worse. By telling them other people have it worse isn’t going to make theirs seem any better.

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