Don’ts … from your child to you
1. Don’t be frightened of being firm with me, I feel safer when you are firm as I feel secure.
2. Don’t spoil me, I know as well as you do that I shouldn’t have everything I ask for. I’m only trying you out.
3. Don’t let me get into bad habits. I rely on you to help me stop them.
4. Don’t make me feel smaller than I am already. It makes me act big, and then I make a fool of myself.
5. Don’t correct me in front of other people unless you have to. It’s much better if you talk to me on my own.
6. Don’t make me feel I’ve sinned when I’ve made a mistake. My sense of values gets upset if you do.
7. Don’t cushion me from the consequences of what I’ve done all the time. Sometimes I need to learn the hard way.
8. Don’t over react when I said ‘I hate you’! I love you … it’s your power over me that I sometimes resent.
9. Don’t make a fuss when there’s nothing much wrong with me. But remember I may be fussing to get your attention if I feel excluded.
10. Don’t nag me. If you do I may have to pretend to be deaf to protect myself.
11. Don’t forget that I can’t always explain thing as clearly as you can. That’s why you sometimes think I’m not telling the truth, when I am.
12. Don’t promise something you won’t be able to do. I feel awful when you let me down.
13. Don’t push me into corner with questions. If you frighten me then I tell lies … and I don’t really want to.
14. Don’t say one thing and do another. This confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.
15. Don’t say I’m silly when I tell you what I’m worried about. I’m really frightened of some things, and need your understanding and reassurance.
16. Don’t fob me off when I’m asking questions. If you don’t answer me, then I’ll stop asking you and have to get the answers from somewhere else … and I want your answers!
17. Don’t pretend you are perfect or infallible … I know you are not!
18. Don’t think you are so important to apologize to me. I love you so much when you tell me you’ve done wrong, and say you are sorry.
19. Don’t think I’ve stopped growing up. Please try to understand that I’m growing every day.
20. Don’t forget I love experimenting. I can’t grow without it so please put up with it.
21. Don’t forget that I need your understanding love if I’m going to thrive … but you love me already and I don’t need to tell you that do I?