‘Why do I have you as my child?’ tops most harm­ful things to say

The China Post - - LOCAL -

“Why do I have you as my child?” and “why are you so stupid?” have each topped a list of the most dam­ag­ing things par­ents can say to their chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey re­leased Sun­day by a civic group.

“Why do I have you as a child?” was voted the most dam­ag­ing thing to say to block the com­mu­ni­ca­tion of love be­tween par­ents and chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to an on­line sur­vey by the Hu­man­is­tic Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion, which is ded­i­cated to pro­mot­ing hu­man­cen­tered ed­u­ca­tion.

It was fol­lowed by “you let me down,” “shut up,” “then stay here, all by your­self,” “be­have, and dad and mom will like you,” “don’t ever think I will help you,” “what’s all the cry­ing about?” “why do you have to be dif­fer­ent from the oth­ers?” “can’t you just be more care­ful?” and “hurry up, I am go­ing to count to three.”

An­other list ranks the most dam­ag­ing things to say to im­pede chil­dren from learn­ing to think for them­selves.

“Why are you so stupid?” topped the list, fol­lowed by “you are so use­less,” “you are hope­less with this poor grade,” “this is easy, why don’t you get it?” “why can’t you learn more from your brother (or any sib­ling or class­mate)?” “you don’t have the tal­ent,” “didn’t I teach you this be­fore?” “judg­ing from the poor grade you re­ceived, all the lessons I sent you to went to waste,” “you de­serve to be pun­ished by the teacher be­cause you don’t do your homework well,” and “if your hand­writ­ing is bad-look­ing, it means you also look ugly.” The sur­vey re­ceived 2,436 re­sponses.


“Many fa­thers and moth­ers who re­sponded to the sur­vey said they have said th­ese dam­ag­ing things to their chil­dren with­out mean­ing to hurt them,” said Chen Sheng-ching ( ), a direc­tor at the foun­da­tion's ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter.

This kind of lan­guage, even if said un­in­ten­tion­ally, will hurt chil­dren and af­fect their devel­op­ment, Chen said.

He ad­vised par­ents to re­place this kind of dam­ag­ing lan­guage with "do you need help?" be­cause the child might just need some help, and ac­knowl­edg­ing this would be the first step to­ward build­ing a lov­ing re­la­tion­ship.

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