When parents are upset or frustrated because their child did something wrong, and they don’t have something kind or constructive to say, it is better to remain quiet.
By getting angry, sending guilt messages, nagging and withdrawing love from their children, parents don’t solve conflicts; furthermore, they create additional difficulties and resistance because they:
direct the attention of the child OFF the real problem. The child responds:
“My mom is unfair to me” or “my mom is …….” instead of "I need to recognize that what I did was not right”
stir up emotions of anger and resentment in the child instead of the one feeling that will change the child, sadness.
place the burden of correcting the behavior on themselves
show low expectations of the child’s ability to behave
While on some short-term basis parental responses like getting angry, sending guilt messages and nagging might force the child to do what they want, these psychological pressures don’t really motivate a child to make a TRUE and long term change. These behaviors also show the child that his or her parents are at a loss as to how to handle the situation. When parents don’t know exactly how to handle a situation yet, the children don't need to know. Parents can look for helpful advice that could remedy the situation after the fact. However in the meantime, when they are on the spot, if they can’t think of anything constructive or kind to say, there is no need to say anything at all. Like the German proverb says: “Be silent or say something better than silence.”