“As long as you keep your feet under my table! …” Who doesn’t know this or a similar phrase from their parents? In the editorial office, we remembered what typical parental sentences were spoken to us, and which are already outdated because they simply do not work for the child for good, and we suggest how to react in return.
Some of these common old phrases do not apply to children’s personality and are really just expressions of helplessness or pure authority. If we then go back to our childhood, we will be able to better understand how our own children are feeling today and perhaps we will be able to respond more empathetically. Many of you probably know these sentences one way or another …
# 1 “We eat what’s on the table!”
A classic at the dining table. The child cannot get up until the last peas have been eaten, and if he refuses, there is real trouble. But what’s the point of forcing a child to finish something or forcing him to sit at the table for hours? A child who does not eat sometimes does not starve to death. It’s all about pure authority, you do it because I want it now. Everyone has their tastes, and the kids don’t (yet) eat many things. If you’re tough at it, you might just spoil your child’s discovery of personal taste and never make them open to new things.
# 2 “Eat your plate for nice weather tomorrow!”
This sentence comes right after that. This utterly nonsensical statement tells a child that something bad will happen if he or she does not eat. So the child learns that eating has something to do with pleasing someone else and therefore eating a lot. Is that what food is all about? Definitely not. It is not important that the child finishes his plate. He should learn to eat until full and develop a feeling of hunger and satiety. Your parents’ love shouldn’t depend on whether you eat a lot or a little. Disturbed attitude towards food inevitable!
# 3 “If you don’t clean up, I’ll go over here with the trash bag and throw everything away”
I only know this sentence from programs such as “Frauentausch”, where mothers then walk around the apartment with a blue garbage bag. My parents never told me that, but my friend knows it from her mother. Most of the time, it’s just an empty threat. After all, who would actually collect and throw away all children’s toys? A better alternative would be to clean up with your baby or show your baby that you can put your own things away. Give an example! If she still doesn’t clean up, you can re-think of the reward and then do nice things together.
# 4 “We’ll explain it to you when you get older”
This sentence always drove me crazy. Because it also means: it’s none of your business or: you don’t understand it yet! Of course, it depends on how old the child is and what it is about. But basically the point is, a child’s thirst for knowledge is not taken seriously. A six-year-old child can be explained many things, including sexual and social matters, in a child-friendly way, depending on the right words. In this way, we show the little ones that we take them seriously. Moreover, you are not assuring that the taboos on topics go on and on.
# 6 “When the dough says, the crumbs are on a break!
Even with this sentence, which my colleague knows well, children are simply not taken seriously. This sends the wrong signal and suppresses any curiosity and thirst for knowledge that babies naturally nip. If you don’t want the kids to “interfere” with conversations, you can explain nicely “that you can talk about it later.”
# 7 “Don’t do this!”
Another classic, authoritarian sentence. Of course, there are thousands of things about social behavior that children need to learn because they don’t know what’s common yet. But if you bring this to the attention of the kids, it will help them a lot more if you also explain what exactly is bothering you in the plot, or why something is inappropriate at the moment, or how you feel about it. A child can do a lot more with it.
# 8 “If you don’t do XYZ right away, go to bed”
Did we ever do or not do something as a child because our parents sent us to bed? Definitely not. Many of us know the threat of going to sleep, but this is not appropriate. The bed should be a positive place to rest and relax.
If you threaten this, “going to sleep” will feel like a punishment and the baby will have trouble falling asleep. With each threat, the child will only withdraw. We know it from ourselves, instead we should try to find out why the child is doing or not doing this or that and what it feels like.
# 9 Chewing Gum Sticks To Your Stomach!
Many parents liked to tell fairy tales full of untruths. The intention was to intimidate the children with these comments so that, inter alia, For example, stop doing certain things like swallowing gum. But what does this suggest to your child when you keep telling him such fairy tales?
She will unconsciously believe these stories for a very long time and will eventually stop trusting her parents once she finds out what the bullshit is. Let’s be honest with our kids and maybe explain to them why swallowing gum isn’t so good, but it’s not the end of the world if it does.
# 10 Watching TV for so long will get you square eyes!
Also a untruth that you have really heard a thousand times over. But none of us believed it, did we? This also just won’t stop your child from watching a series or movie. Such sentences are useless. It is better to agree on media time in advance and simply limit the use of mobile phones, tablets or TV to a specific program, series, movie or time. How long this fails can vary based on the age and media skills of the child. The younger it is, the shorter the child should use the media.
# 11 “As long as you put your feet under my table …”
I know this sentence from my father in a similar form. He is usually very authoritarian and patriarchal. Formerly, fathers wanted to claim that they were the masters of the house who made the rules. Fortunately, those times are over. On the one hand, both parents should jointly introduce rules for the family. Setting boundaries is important and okay. But it is also important that these rules are reasonable and appropriate for the age of the child.
Of course, everyone has personal prohibitions, some parents are more relaxed about media time or going out, but in general you should always give a reasonable reason why you are deciding something the way and no other. Then the child can deal with it and accept it, even if he or she may not understand it.
But, of course, disagreements can also occur, as teenagers’ conflicts arise again and again and must be handled sensitively. Don’t be assertive, but explain to your child how you feel when your child is doing this or that and what the problem is with it. It will never be easy, but this way your child will feel taken more seriously.
Education isn’t just black or white. It will certainly be the case that even we sometimes escape these sentences. Because our parenting style is unconsciously shaped by our parents. But if we are aware of it, we can question it and do things differently step by step. We’ve shown some alternatives.
Big Kids Quiz
Image Credit: Getty Images / fizkes
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