7 Terrible Pieces of Advice Parents Give Their Kids

Kids don’t come with directions. There is no owner’s manual to tell us how to teach our children to deal with life’s little speed bumps. We can try to do our best on our own, do as our parents did and even read countless books by ‘experts’ most of whom usually disagree. In the end we find ourselves spouting advice that we hope helps them. The sad fact is that most of us won’t know if the advice truly helps until the kids are older and by then it may be too late to take it back and replace it with more helpful advice. The best we can do is try to avoid bad advice which it seems is the information we’ve all been taught ourselves.

1. Don’t be a tattle tale.
Yeah, that’s really bad advice. You’re telling your child that when someone does wrong that it’s okay to turn a blind eye and ignore it. While most of what children see is mundane, little, unimportant stuff that we don’t want to hear about there is always a chance that they will need to tell us something extremely important. Let’s not teach them to keep secrets to the point that people get away with harming them or someone else.

2. Stop Crying
Telling someone how to feel and/or how to express those feelings is beyond wrong and it can be dangerous. If someone is taught to internalize their feelings it could lead to addiction. People self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, food and other addictions to keep from feeling emotional. Let the kid cry and help them deal with the reason they are crying.

3. Clean your plate, there are starving kids in ________.
No, let’s not teach kids to over-eat. We can teach them to eat a bit of everything on their plate without forcing them to stuff themselves silly. When don’t use food as a punishment or a reward unless we want them to have eating disorders later in life.

4. You don’t need to worry about that.
It’s generally best not to include children in adult problems but sometimes it can’t be helped. If they see or hear something on the news that scares them the last thing you should say is “don’t worry about that”. To a child that means don’t show me you’re worried which can lead to anxiety disorders. It’s best to talk it out with them and if need be help them deal with it by creating some sort of plan to deal with anything that scares the child. If they fear a house fire then hold fire drills to show them you have a plan to deal with that. When children know how to deal with emergencies they’ll be far less likely to obsess over them to the point of creating a disorder.

5. Work smart, not hard.
Holy cow is that bad advice. If anyone needs to learn the value of hard work it’s children. Can they do both? Sure. In fact it’s best to work both hard and smart if they want to be the best they can be. Not every child is cut out for college and that’s okay. Some kids will grow up to be just fine working a hard job that requires minimal formal education. What we need is children who know how to learn and think so teach those things every chance you get.

6. Winners never quit.
If you want your kid to think of themselves as a loser then tell them this every chance you get. Fact is everyone has quit something and since kids know exactly how to talk bad about themselves to themselves then the first time they quit something they will tell themselves over and over that they are not winners because they quit. Winners do in fact quit things that don’t work but they know how to move on to the next thing and keeping moving forward until they find success. So teach your kids when to know it’s time to quit and how to move on and keep going.

7. Keep trying until you figure it out.
There is just some things that kids can’t figure out for themselves. They need help and guidance from someone older who can teach them the correct way to do something. If you are too busy to help them then you need to figure out how to find the time or have someone else help them. What you don’t want to do is make a child with very little life experience figure out everything for themselves. You might not like the outcome.

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