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There are ways to be honest and direct about the behavior without being negative about the whole person. That's where your dh has to work. It might be a cultural thing but I don't know, I think we have a similar cultural thing in the US! I have defintely heard parents call their children "lazy" when they really meant "unwilling to practice piano when the sun is shining outside."

Instead of saying the child is lazy or stupid, it's better to say "I don't like it that dd won't pick up her toys" or "It worries me that dd isn't reading yet" or even "Why does she look at me like that? I am being perfectly clear!" Still direct and honest and not sugar coating, but not making the whole kid a problem or hopeless or something.

I think it's too easy for us to just revert back to what our own parents did. They might have been great parents, but it was not great to have them tag us as "the messy one" or "the pretty one" or whatever.
 
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