Don’t call me names, mama!!!

27/07/2012 § Leave a comment

I’m currently reading this book “Raise Happy Children” and reflected on something I did to Amelia (recently) after reading the chapter on “The dangers of labeling”.

So, I called her “silly” girl.

Of course, I had no ill intention behind that (seemingly innocent) word at all. But, was that word within the radial of innocence, it wasn’t, says the book. (I thought it was ok to use it, since I’ve heard parents calling their kids “silly goose” (lovingly). To satisfy my curiosity, I did a quick Google research on the definition of “Silly goose”.

According to the, the definition of silly goose is “When someone does something to make you giggle, you call them this.”

Then there are other definitions as well.

2. “A person who is and likes to be silly”

3. “A term of endearment, as long as the principals are straight.”

All right, the next 2 definitions really disturbs me…

4. “Someone who is weird but cool. They make people laugh by being stupid, psychotic, or perverted.

5. “Homosexuals way of seducing young children”

(See more here:

Here’s an insight from the book:

“Negative and often repeated language can have a ‘hypnotic effect’ on children. If you tell children something enough, they will believe it and internalize it. This in turn creates adults with negative beliefs about themselves, which are hard to change.”

(Not that I don’t believe what I read, but I wanted to know the logic behind the insight, so here’s the scientific explanation by DR Neill. “It has to do with the way children learn. From about age three to age nine or ten, children’s brainwaves look like the brainwaves of an adult under hypnosis. When you say something to a child in that age range, it is taken in instantly and without question. The child has just accepted a “truth.” These truths are called “introjects”. Parental pronouncements are swallowed whole and become part of the child’s view of the world. This childhood ability allows the child to learn huge quantities of information, attitudes and values without even thinking about it.”

(Read more here:

Of course, reading and practicing are 2 separate matters. In my long journey of parenting, I’m sure, there will be situations where my tongue would get the better of me.

Till that happens, I have to remind myself to bit my own tongue and remain Zen…

(Oopps… I can almost hear a teenage Amelia telling me, “Be careful what you call me, or I may turn out to be that!” )


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