How To Avoid Screwing Up Your Kids

Our youngest son loves singing along to music, and is amazing at naming the song and artist as soon as a tune comes on the radio.

But just like most young children, he’s not so great when it comes to the lyrics.

The other day, for example, whilst listening to a Rick Astley classic in the car, we could hear him in the back, singing, “Never gonna giddy up…”

And no matter how many times we told him the proper words, the old ones stuck.

Now, maybe my husband and I we were laughing too hard to instruct him properly…

But I think the truth goes deeper than that.

And so here’s the lesson for today.

We all make sense of the world from our own perspective and understanding.

The phrase, “give you up”, doesn’t make much sense to a child, but the phrase, “giddy up” does.

So he goes with what makes the most sense to him, even if it isn’t right.

Most of the time it’s just funny, harmless stuff like lyrics. But sometimes a child can take something to heart that really upsets them. Something that is completely misheard, misinterpreted or misunderstood.

Especially if it comes from someone in authority, like a parent or teacher.

For example, I recently heard the case history of a middle aged man named Mark, who had suffered low self-esteem and felt unwanted as long as he could remember, because he overheard his dad tell his mum they needed to “exchange Mark”.

Turns out his dad was talking about selling the car… in the “Exchange and Mart” magazine.

Scary, eh.

The prime age for these kinds of incidents is between the ages of 6 and 11. In fact, most of the adults who come to see me have issues that started around that age.

The truth is, you can’t stop your children from taking something innocent the wrong way.

After all, most adults are still prone to doing it too.

But you can pay attention, and notice if your child starts acting differently.

You can make the time to talk with them about what’s on their mind.

And hopefully you can nip any misunderstandings in the bud before they fester and grow into bigger adult problems.

If you are worried about your child and want to talk to a specialist, give me a call.

Heidi Woodgate

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