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Image by Francesca Petringa


In positive communication, besides speaking with kindness, mindful talking is equally just as important. With overly busy schedules and stress, sometimes parents unconsciously say things that may hurt children. We all know that words that came out are irreversible. We can't take them back. And with children's pre-developed language skills and social understanding, those hurtful comments like "you're not good enough", or "you're so stupid" or "you can never do things right." may follow and haunt them into adulthood. 

The words parents use on children have a direct effect on their psychological and emotional wellbeing. If parents always label their child as stupid, that child will grow up thinking he is not good enough to do anything. This will affect children's self-esteem and confidence level. Therefore, WHAT we say and HOW we say is very important.


1. Praise more!


Use positive and encouraging language. Praise good values and give recognition to children's effort.

"I like how you share your toys"

"That's such a good idea!"

" I like how you try and did not give up"

2. Monitor your emotions.


Managing and regulating your emotions before speaking to your child will show them that you're in control. And that you won't be yelling at them. Children will more likely to share and open up to you. When you're yelling and your child is crying, it is impossible to get through to each other.

Related: Parents and emotions

3. Control your tone and words.


Phrase your words carefully. As a mature adult, the parent can lead by example, speak calmly and assertively (see what is positive communication?).

"You can talk nicely" instead of "don't talk to me like that!"

"You can try this" instead of "no, don't do that!"

"I know you can do it" instead of "why can't you do better"


1. DON'T focus on the negatives


In Asia, most parents tend to overly focus on what their child CAN'T do instead of what they CAN do. Parents put too much attention to children's negative behaviour, they forgot there're actually good behaviours in children too. So, remember to see the good more than the bad in your child. 

2. DON'T yell and blurt out words you later regret

Parents are busy and stressed out with work. A little trigger from children at home can resurface all the anger and pressure from the day and you then lash it all out on children. That anger casts on children are unfair to them. So before you yell or hit, walk away, take a moment to breathe and calm yourself down. React with kindness and love, not anger. 

Be mindful in how you communicate with children. Your words and encouragement mean the world to them. Shower children with love and compassion, so children will feel safe and secure with you. 


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