The Things We Shouldn’t Say to Our Children if We Want Them to Be Successful
Since most parents want their children to be successful, they teach them how to realize their goals in a way they believe will be helpful. However, there are things we say to our children that are actually counterproductive.
Even though the advice may be helpful in the short term, it can lead to exhaustion and less success. In this article, we offer you some of the things we should not teach our children.
Do not say: You should focus on the future and your goals.
But, say: You have to live/work at the moment.
It is not easy to be focused all the time, according to research, the human brain wanders almost half of the awake time. (1) So, when the mind wanders, we may start worrying about things that have happened or may happen, and that leads to stress, anger, and regret.
Also, when one is constantly focused on the future, they may develop anxiety as well as fear. Of course, a little bit of stress can be motivating, but when it becomes chronic, it leads to health and intellectual issues like memory and attention.
When kids learn how to focus on the present, they can learn faster, solve problems easily, and think more creatively.
Do not say: You have to keep pushing yourself, you cannot avoid stress.
Say: You need to learn how to relax.
When kids are worried about grades and performing well at school, they are under a lot of stress, so they are feeling anxious, and sadly, this can lead to horrible results.
As adults, many people find many ways to survive throughout stressful days, they take Xanax, drink a lot of coffee, take sleep meds, etc. But, that is not a healthy lifestyle, and we should not teach our children in that way.
Instead, parents should teach their children how to find natural ways to relax, such as yoga, meditation, exercising, drawing, breathing, etc.
Do not say: You need to be busy all the time.
Say: Find something to do and have fun.
It is okay for kids to feel excited, but excitement like stress is not good for our overall health. When kids are over-scheduled, they do not have a lot of time to enjoy themselves own do things they really like.
Also, studies say that when people feel bored, they usually come up with the best creative ideas. (2) So, let your kids have a more calm time, let them walk the dog, lie on the grass and stare in the clouds, etc.
Do not say: Play to your strengths.
Say: You need to make mistakes and learn to fail.
When parents say that their kid is a “math person” or something similar, they are creating a person who would not like to try out new things. For instance, if a child receives praise because they are good at sports, they may not want to try out a drama club in which they may be good at.
Do not teach your kids that obstacles in a certain area mean they are not good at it. Be more enthusiastic and optimistic in the face of challenges.
Do not say: Do not be soft, and you need to know your weaknesses.
Say: You have to take care of yourself.
When parents teach their kids to be too self-critical they are not helping them. In fact, criticizing their personality may lead to kids becoming focused only on the thing that is “wrong” with them.
So, for parents to help their kids, they need to teach them how to treat themselves. When they are not at their best, kids need to learn that they should take care of themselves in the same way they would help a friend in need.
For instance, if a child is shy, they should learn to tell themselves that it is normal to feel shy sometimes and that they can set their own goals they can actually work on and achieve.
Do not say: The world is competitive and cruel, be careful.
Say: You need to show compassion to others.
It is very important to establish positive relationships with other people because that is essential for our well-being. However, you need to be careful not to let others take advantage of you.
It is in kids’ nature to be compassionate and kind, but they can become too self-involved as well, so parents need to teach them how to take care of the feelings of other people.
The world is cruel, but we need to learn how to take care of each other if we want to make it a better place.