Unsplash | Ante Hamersmit

Parenting Expert Shares What Toxic Word Parents Shouldn't Use

Many parents have habits and phrases they do or say often to their kids, without even realizing it. Many of our parenting comforts are second nature, either from our own parents or from what we believe will work with our kids.

But, there are many times when what we want doesn't happen because our kids are not always so easy to parent or well-behaved.

Many parenting experts share that some parents use phrases that can backfire in the home.

Unsplash | Kelli McClintock

Parenting experts often speak out about words and phrases that don't work well for kids and for parents, because they can create an unfair dynamic and even a "disrespectful" household for both parents and kids.

Recently, a TikTok user and parenting expert shared one word to "stop using" in homes with kids.

Tia Slightham shares parenting tips, tricks, and hacks online with parents all over the world on her TikTok channel.

Recently, she shared a word that is incredibly toxic for parents to use with kids and what you should use instead.

The word "If" is one you should cut out of your vocabulary.

Slightham shared that if you are a parent that uses the word "if," it's definitely one that should be removed from your vocabulary.

There's no reason for you to be using it because it creates problems where you don't want problems with your kids.

She gave some examples of times when parents may use "if" often.

One example is that parents often say, "if you don't do this, then you won't get that."

Essentially, it's a threat to get their children to do things when they want them to do them and use benefits and rewards to get them done.

Slightham says that "if" creates a power struggle.

The power struggle then happens when you use "if" because kids think that they can go toe-to-toe with you.

Essentially, they begin to play "tug of war" with you for the ultimate one up on parents.

She argues that "you can't force your kids to do things."

She also argues in her TikTok video that you cannot force your kids to do things.

Apparently, parenting is not about force but about asking. Slightham says that kids will begin to argue and fight back every time you use force.

Instead of using "if," Slightham says to use "when."

Slightham tells TikTok viewers and parents that instead of using "if" you should use "when."

That way, kids know that when they do what they need to do, they will get what they want and what they really need.

Some people argued it was "not possible."

Some people said that it isn't possible to do this, because the "when" allows kids to believe they can do what is asked of them "whenever they want."

It won't get done when we need it to get done and they will end up in charge.

Others argued it sets them up for failure.

Others said that this doesn't set them up well for the real world.

Essentially, no one in the real world will treat them like this or be as patient and kind to them, so they need to buck up and realize life is not always fair or easy.

However, some said it does work.

Some TikTok users online commented saying they have done this in their own home and now their kids are expressing themselves more openly and honestly with them.

In fact, they have a more balanced child due to this shift.

Another suggested that it works, but to change it if need be.

Another parent said they have started doing this and now they have zero power struggles with their kids. And, if the kids do take too long, they just don't have time to do the "when" part that day.

It's definitely an interesting tactic!