Talk to your children like you would talk to a guest

The Wellbeing Doctor

I'm an NHS Clinical Psychologist (in training) sharing practical evidence-based ideas for looking after your mental and physical health.

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Parental criticism is never helpful. The way our parents speak to us becomes our internal monologue for how we speak to ourselves for the rest of our lives. It impacts the way we see ourselves, the world and the people around us. ⁠

The quotation above provides a lovely reminder of how we could try speak to our children like we would to a guest who we would like to visit again – with kindness, forgiveness and understanding. ⁠

If your guest forgot their umbrella you wouldn’t say “what is the matter with you – you’d lose your head if it wasn’t screwed on! You’re 40 years old – will you ever learn to sort yourself out and be organised?! How is it your sister can always manage to remember things but you can’t?!”. We’d say “Here’s your umbrella”. ⁠

If your guest spilled their drink you wouldn’t say “for goodness sake, what a mess! Why can’t you be more careful?! That’s completely ruined now, get out of my house”. You’d say, “Don’t worry about it! These things happen – we can easily clean that up!”⁠

If your guest was late you wouldn’t say “What time do you call this?! I’ve been waiting here for hours, your time-keeping is appalling!”. You’d say, “Not to worry, we’re all a bit late from time-to-time, it’s no problem. Is everything okay?”.⁠


It can be easy to slip into frustration and criticism when we’re stressed and tired but it’s important to remember the power of our words on little ears 💜⁠

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The Wellbeing Doctor

I'm an NHS Clinical Psychologist (in training) sharing practical evidence-based ideas for looking after your mental and physical health.

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