Development training from communication skills coach Dan O'Connor--
What we say to children can have a huge impact on their formation, particularly if they are under our care, and we have a bond of trust with them. It is NOT OK to figure that no matter what you say, you can later apologize and ask forgiveness--after all, children aren't fragile china that breaks easily.
But children are like fragile china--valuable, easily broken and impossible to put back together again. Yes, apologies help, but children can be damaged irreparably, and be scarred for life just by hearing certain words or ideas repeatedly. Or sometimes--just once.
If you tell a child he is too sensitive, or too happy or too sad, that child may well grow up to repress emotions or be unable even to recognize them. If you tell a child his needs don't matter, with flip phrases such as "who asked you?" that child can grow up to believe that he/she truly isn't important. If you tell children that it is "weak" to cry or that others don't care about their problems--they can grow up feeling weak and alone. In short, there are so many things we can say to young people, and then walk away unaffected, not realizing we have just placed that young person in a box from which there will be no escape in adulthood.
I strongly recommend reading the following article featured in Yahoo! Life, and written by Jonice Webb
10 Things Emotionally Neglected Kids Grow Up Believing — That Are Simply Not True
To contact communication skills coach Dan O'Connor for interpersonal and personal development training, communication skills training, or professional business training for you individually or your organization, please go to his website and message him. On Dan's website you'll find all his courses and webinars, as well as forms messages you can use to contact him personally.