The Importance of Language

Why Parental Language to Kids is Important

30 July 2022 • Words by Karla Pretorius 3 mins

Parental language is one of the most important predictors of a kid’s future success. A parent’s words can either empower or limit a child’s ability to think, feel, and behave in positive ways. The way we speak to our children can also influence their ability to regulate emotions, cope with stress, and relate to others. 

There are many different types of parental language. Strict, abusive, mean, bullying, and sensitive are different parental languages that can impact children. Each type of language can lead to different outcomes for children. 

Strict parenting

This is characterized by high levels of control and expectations. Parents who use strict language are often very demanding and have little tolerance for misbehavior. This type of parenting can lead to fearful children who have difficulty expressing themselves.

Abusive parenting

Characterized by yelling, threats, and physical violence. This parenting style can lead to fearful, anxious, and depressed children. They may also have difficulty trusting adults and forming healthy relationships.

Mean parenting

Think of belittling, shaming, and manipulation. This type of parenting can lead to children who are insecure, anxious and have low self-esteem. They may also have difficulty trusting adults and forming healthy relationships. 

Bullying parenting

This is characterized by intimidation, control, and put-downs. This parenting type can lead to resentful, angry, and aggressive children. They may also have difficulty empathizing with others and may engage in bullying behavior themselves. 

Sensitive parenting

Warm, empathetic, and supportive language. This parenting type can lead to confident, secure children with high self-esteem. They may also be more resilient and better able to cope with stress.

The type of parental language that is used can have a profound impact on children. It is essential to be aware of the kind of language that is used and the potential effects it can have on children.

One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to communicate effectively with your child. This means having regular conversations, listening carefully, and responding to their needs. Finding the time to do this can be difficult, but prioritizing is important. 

Here are some tips to help you communicate effectively with your child: 

Make time for regular conversations

Try to have regular conversations with your child, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. This will help you to stay up-to-date with what’s going on in their life and allow you to offer advice and support. 

 Listen to them carefully

When your child is talking to you, listen to them carefully. This means giving them your full attention and not interrupting them. Try to understand their point of view and empathize with their feelings. 

Be responsive to their needs

Make sure you are responsive to your child’s physical and emotional needs. This includes their usual meals, bedtime routine, and being there when they need to talk. 

Show them you love them

It’s important to show your child that you love them, even if you don’t always agree with them. Let them know that you are there for them and care about them. 

Avoid criticism

Avoid criticizing your child, as this can damage your relationship with them. If you need to give them feedback, try to do it constructively. 

Be patient

Communicating with your child can be challenging, so patience is important. Don’t expect them to understand everything you say, and be prepared to repeat yourself. 

Try to meditate as a family

Try some of Moshi’s family meditations by clicking here. You can use this as a bonding time with your child, a time to be present and still together. According to Sharma (2015), meditation is a process that goes beyond the mind to the deepest level of the inner self, so this might be an excellent way to enhance verbal communication as a family. 

Sharma, H. Meditation: Process and effects. (2015). AYU 36(3), 233–237.

Karla Pretorius

A registered counselor with a MA in Psychology. Co-founder: AIMS Global & Leadership at: Augmental