You should stop saying these 5 phrases to your grandchildren: here’s why

The holiday season is a time when families of different generations gather to celebrate together. As a grandparent, you need to be sure that the happiness, love, and connection of all your family members are of paramount importance to you. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes grandparents’ remarks, whether well-intentioned or not, can make grandchildren feel awkward or insecure.

It is very important to think about our communication with our grandchildren not only at this time but also throughout the year. It may not be easy to change the way you communicate, but it’s important to keep in mind the impact words can have on your grandchildren’s self-esteem.

A quick note: if you have ever used one of the following phrases or accidentally use it in the future, do not get upset, and do not be too hard on yourself.

«Don’t say anything to your parents…»

You can give your grandchildren extra cookies without telling their parents, or make them stay late and say, «This will be our little secret.» According to Atlanta-based clinical psychologist Zainab Delavala, encouraging grandchildren to hide things from their parents can be dangerous.

According to the psychologist, this can have long-term consequences, as it undermines parental authority. In addition, it shows children that a situation may arise when it is in their best interests to hide certain information from their parents. This can be especially important when a child is being attacked by intruders or is experiencing emotional stress due to bullying. Instead, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of maintaining open and honest communication with parents, regardless of the circumstances.

«You’re so big!» «Have you gained weight?»

It is strongly discouraged to make comments about the child’s body or weight, as such comments can negatively affect the child’s perception of the body and self-esteem. Our responsibility as responsible adults is to support and encourage children to feel comfortable with themselves. It is important to be aware of the impact our words can have on others, and not to say anything that can undermine their self-esteem or cause feelings of insecurity. The comments of grandparents can have a lasting impact and often remain in our memory.

«Oh, you ate more than I did!»

It’s important to remember that it’s best to avoid commenting on what your grandchildren are eating. It is best to keep any observations or opinions about their nutrition to yourself. Understanding food and hunger signals is the most important stage in a child’s development. When it comes to children and their nutrition, it is important to consider the impact of comments. Sometimes children can adjust their eating behavior depending on what others say, instead of listening to their own body’s signals. It can also lead to feelings of shame or confusion at that moment or over time.

«You definitely have to come up to me and kiss or hug me!»

It is quite natural for grandparents to want to get closer to their grandchildren in this way, especially when you feel joy at the sight of them. However, adults need to understand that not all children feel comfortable being hugged and kissed every time they are asked to do so, and it is important to respect their boundaries. This phrase, although well-intentioned, can sometimes have unintended consequences. She can make a child accidentally doubt her own boundaries.

When it comes to consent, it can lead to confusion. Try to rephrase the question: «I’d like to hug you, would you mind?» «Will it be okay if I hug you?»

This will help you respect the boundaries of your grandchildren.

«Your parents are wrong about…»

Educational approaches and strategies change over time. It is interesting to observe how parenting styles change among different generations. Of course, grandparents come from a different era with their own customs and norms, and it is quite natural that they are pressured to discuss these differences. It’s important to recognize these differences, but sometimes such comments can inadvertently confuse others. When it comes to shaming, it means judging what is right or wrong and finding flaws in a grandson or his parents. In general, it is recommended to refrain from commenting unless you see possible harm to the child. In such situations, it is recommended to resolve any issues directly with parents, rather than involving grandchildren.

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