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Parents (dads in particular) should never say these ten harmful phrases to their sons.

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Parents (dads in particular) should never say these ten harmful phrases to their sons.

Parents (dads in particular) should never say these ten harmful phrases to their sons.

By Severen Henderson for Department3C

Finding the right words to express yourself and support your son can be difficult as a parent. We all want the best for our sons and know that our words matter in helping them grow into successful young men. But sometimes, what we say can negatively impact their self-esteem or outlook on life.

What you say to your children has a lasting impact. You want to build them up and help them see value within themselves. This blog post will discuss ten harmful phrases (dads in particular) should avoid saying to their sons!

#1 "Boy's don't cry."

This phrase implies that any expression of emotion is wrong, especially for boys. It teaches them to repress their emotions and can lead to emotional suppression in adulthood. Allowing your son to express his emotions will help him process them and let him know it's okay to have feelings.

The encouragement to express emotions will make your son talk to you and trust you. The last thing you want to do is stifle emotions and make your son think it's wrong to cry. Everyone cries, whether in public or behind closed doors. Using this harmful phrase encourages your son not to share their feelings.

#2 "You're too sensitive."

This phrase implies that your son's emotions are wrong or unnecessary. It is important to remember that emotions, especially in children, should not be ignored. Instead of telling them, they're too sensitive, try discussing their feelings and helping them find healthy ways to express themselves.

You don't want to raise a young man that has feelings and emotions and doesn't know a healthy way to express them. Time is needed to learn how to deal with feelings and hormones constantly evolving, so the phrase that a boy is "too sensitive" can be highly damaging to long-term mental wellness.

#3 "You'll never amount to anything if you don't..."

This phrase damages your son's self-esteem and implies they cannot achieve anything. Instead, it's better to express belief in their abilities by saying: "You can achieve great things if you put your mind to it." Encourage hard work, training, and preparation. The lesson of learning from mistakes is a powerful tool that should be taught.

When a phrase that is so negative is used towards boys, it places them in a constant place of believing what they do isn't good enough.

Practice positive talk, affirmations, and conversations that promote a positive self-image.

#4 "Be a man!" or "Man up!"

This phrase can be damaging because it implies that there is only one way to act and think as a "man." The phrase implies that your son needs to be more stoic and emotionless. It also implies that showing emotion is a sign of weakness, which is untrue. It puts pressure on your son to fit into society's gender norms. Instead, encourage him to be himself and show his emotions without fear of judgment.

There is more to being a man than just conforming to societal norms of masculinity or putting on a false front. Being instinctually aware of the right thing to do and having the courage to see it through separates good men from great ones.

A lesson for you and your son is that treating yourself and others with decency through honesty, empathy, and respect are key components in becoming a better man and living a fulfilled life.

Show him these qualities are more important than trying to fit into a specific gender role.

#5 "That's too hard for you."

Telling your son something is too hard for them implies that they cannot handle it and should give up without even trying. This phrase can lead to a defeatist attitude and can decrease their self-confidence.

Instead, encourage them not to give up too quickly. Try telling them: "That might be hard, but I know you have the strength and determination to figure it out." If they try something and fail, show them that failure is not necessarily bad but something they can learn from.

The phrase can lead to frustration and powerlessness since it implies that the person has some control over the situation when they may not. Instead, focus on what steps you can take together to help them achieve their goals.

#6 "That's too girly for you."

This phrase implies that certain interests are reserved for either men or women when everyone should feel free to express themselves however they wish, regardless of gender. The goal is for your son to develop interests based on what he finds enjoyable or stimulating, not what others deem masculine or feminine.

Not only is it an insult to boys when you tell them something is "for girls," but it's also a jab at women. Boys should be raised knowing there are no activity or interest limitations based on gender norms. After all, both sexes can do a vast array of things.

#7 "You'll understand when you're older."

This phrase implies that your son isn't mature enough to handle the situation, which can make him feel helpless and frustrated. It is better to explain the issue in a way that he will understand rather than tell him he won't understand until later.

Refrain from confusing inappropriate conversations with a young person with their ability to understand or not being mature enough to comprehend. When a child comes to you with a question, they want to understand fully. Take the time to explain in a way that is age appropriate and allow them questions to clarify any confusion.

These conversations will make your son feel respected and appreciated and build trust between you.

#8 "I'm so disappointed in you."

These words can have a lasting impact on your son's self-esteem. Instead of saying this, try expressing your disappointment in specific behaviors, so your son can understand the consequences of his actions.

Explain why you feel the way you do and talk about ways to improve in the future.

The best way to help your son learn from his mistakes is by offering solutions so he can make better decisions in the future. Focus on how your son can grow from it instead of focusing on what was done wrong.

#9 "You're not good enough."

Telling your son, he's not good enough is one of the worst things you can do as a parent. It sends the message that he must constantly strive for perfection and will never be happy. It can cause him to doubt himself and forgo trying new things.

Instead of telling him, he's not good enough, tell him that you believe in him and his ability to do anything he sets his mind to. Show your son how to build his self-confidence through hard work and persistence.

#10 "Boys will be boys."

This phrase implies that boys should be allowed to behave however they want without consequence. It reinforces the idea that it's okay for boys to act aggressively, recklessly, and with disregard for others.

Instead of accepting bad behavior as "normal," show your son the importance of accountability and respect for himself and others. Let him know that everyone, regardless of gender, should be held to the same standards.

When it comes to parenting, choosing your words wisely is essential for the growth and development of your son. Avoiding these ten harmful phrases is an excellent start in helping your son build self-esteem and develop into a confident, independent young man.

Though there will be moments when you don't know what to say or express yourself, remember that being a good listener can also go a long way in helping your son grow!

Severen Henderson is the Owner/Operator of Department3C. You can connect with him on most social media sites: @iamsevy Or for business-related topics: @deaprtment3c. We want to keep in contact! So please head to our website www.department3c.com to see what we are up to! For e-mail inquiries, contact us at info@department3c.com.

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