Love something your child did? It is far more helpful in terms of encouragement and building self-esteem if you focus on how your child achieved whatever he or she accomplished. Parental reactions like the above get a child thinking about the process and working toward a goal.
Try this instead:
Your child brought home good grades: "You got all As — you must have worked really hard.
Your child's team won: "I liked the way you passed the ball so your teammate could score.
"You should set a good example for your brother"
Older siblings can act out, perhaps out of jealousy due to the extra attention a younger sibling may be receiving. To curb this, praising the older sibling and note how important he is in his sibling's life.
Try this instead: "Your brother looks up to you; you're such a good role model!"
"Here, I'll do it"
It's easy to get frustrated when your child can't quite finish a project or has trouble completing homework. Aim for a more collaborative approach.
Try this instead: "Let's do it together!"
It's important to encourage kids to express their emotions — not bottle them up. Help them recognize their feelings and deal with them openly and honestly.
Try this instead: "It's OK to cry — everyone needs to let out emotions sometimes. Let me give you a hug."
"Because I said so"
It's a powerful phrase, but it takes all control away from your kids. Give your kids a better context of why you're asking them to do (or not do) something. It helps your kids know that their feelings matter and you listen to what they have to say.
Try this instead: "I need your help today. How about we see him tomorrow?"
No matter what you say to a child, it's important to think before you speak. It's not easy but let's start working on it, shall we?