This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
In therapists’ offices worldwide, numerous adults are currently navigating the enduring effects of words spoken by their parents during childhood. Regardless of your self-perception, in the eyes of your child, you are nothing short of the most remarkable presence since the iconic “skip intro” button. This emphasizes the vital importance of being mindful of your words when communicating with your children, recognizing that your expressions become a small yet influential voice in their developing minds.
However well-meaning, here are things you should never say to your child.
1. No More Questions
We’re living in a “why?” generation. They want to know everything, and sometimes we don’t have enough caffeine in our system to deal with all the questions.
Shutting down a curious child is not the answer. This kills their confidence and hunger for knowledge and makes them feel dumb. They will avoid asking any more questions, but you will have created a timid human who feels like they’re a bother.
2. I Could Do That At Your Age
You and your child are different personalities who grew up in different times under different circumstances. If you could tie your laces at three years old, good for you. But we should not compare ourselves to our kids because they’re not us.
I’m pretty sure you couldn’t operate a computer at their age, but they don’t remind you that every three seconds.
3. Character Shaming
Avoid telling them things like, “You’re lazy!”
Granted, some kids are lazy bums who need to be pushed every minute to do the basic life’s minimum. Your job as a parent is to encourage them to do better, not remind them what a sloth they are.
If they think that’s what they are, there’ll be no point in trying to change.
4. Body Shaming
Even worse than character shaming is body shaming; at least they can do something about their character.
Calling a child “too fat, too skinny, too dark, too pale, too tall” is absolutely hateful and unnecessary. There may be little or nothing they can do about these situations. You don’t want your child to grow up with extensive low self-esteem.
5. Get Over It Now
Love them as we do; kids can be annoying. Sometimes, a small issue gets extended and is given way more airtime than it deserves.
Giving your child a timeline to get over their feelings is insensitive. If they decide to be sad about losing the imaginary friend they have been making up for years, let them be. They’ll remember this season of their life with fondness and gratitude.
6. You’re Fine
No, they’re not. They’re scared and anxious and don’t understand a lot because they have the life experience of a housefly.
Validate their fears and help them work through them. That’s how to nurture a grounded individual who isn’t afraid of dealing with their emotions rationally.
7. Why Can’t You Be More Like So-and-so?
Every child is different and beautiful, and there’s beauty in that diversity. Comparing a child to their sibling or friend gives them the impression that they are less worthy than their counterpart.
8. Haven’t You Learned Anything Yet?
If you’ve been looking for the fastest way to make your child feel dumb, this is the perfect question to ask them.
A child needs to believe they were blessed with a brain that works, even though they sometimes act like they have the brain of a starfish. They’re children, they’ll grow and learn, but you must believe it for them, too, as a parent.
9. You’re so Perfect
Yeah, no pressure, Dad.
A child should not have to feel like they need to live up to a certain level of perfection because they will fail. And they will be ashamed. Or they may hate you for thinking they’re so perfect.
A child often told how perfect they are will never admit their faults or struggles to you, and they may turn to destructive habits to cope with the imperfections.
10. You Should Always Listen to Adults
No, you shouldn’t, little Johny.
Some adults can’t be trusted, and some want to hurt your child.
Teach a child that they, too, have a voice and they don’t have to listen to adults just because they’re adults. Some adults lead kids astray just because they’re adults. Teach your kids to ask questions, to say no, and to run requests from adults by you.
11. You’re Too Young to Understand
If they’re asking, they’re not too young to understand.
Some kids have an understanding capacity way above their age. It doesn’t help to dumb down things for them because they’re children. If they ask intelligent or difficult questions, gather all your brain neurons and explain things as clearly as possible.
12. You’ll Never Be Good at That
You don’t know that, and it’s not true.
They may not be good at something now, but with practice and severance, they can actually do it. But it won’t happen if the parent keeps telling them they aren’t built for that particular thing. Be their loudest cheerleader, even when they’re clearly struggling.
A day will come when they’ll make it or quit, but it won’t be because Daddy didn’t believe in them.
13. That’s a Stupid Idea
Maybe it really is a stupid idea, but don’t tell them that. Allow your children to be independent thinkers by helping them explore their ideas in a safe environment. The outcome will determine just how smart the idea was.
Supporting their ideas and walking with them on the journey to good ideas is what good parenting is.
14. Don’t Make Me Do Something I Will Regret
If a parent can’t control themselves, they should not make it the child’s fault.
This strong statement makes all your mistakes, especially discipline, a child’s burden. No one can make anyone do anything, and that is true of parents and children.
Learn self-control and wisdom, and do right by the kids.
15. I Don’t Have Time For You
Any child who hears these words from parents will know they’re not loved, valued, or wanted.
They may grow up feeling like a massive inconvenience in life and try to occupy as little space as possible. If you’re too busy with something extremely important, say so and give the attention they need when you’re done.
16. Don’t Come To Me When You Get Into Trouble
Parents are a child’s safe haven; a child should know that they always have open doors and open arms in their parents. It’s heartbreaking to say this to a child because their sense of security is taken away.
They won’t come to you when they’re in trouble. And you’ll wish they did. But they will remember you said not to.
17. I Told You So
This statement disregards any compassion or that fact that we’re all human. If a child makes a mistake, helping them learn form it is better than rubbing it in their face and making them feel dumb.
18. Do Better Next Time
Holding high expectation for children that are learning everyday is tough on their mental status. Guide them to make good choices, but don’t be too hard on them when they inevitably falter.
19. What’s Wrong With You?
After a tough day, a child making yet another mistake or not heeding warnings can lead to this frustrated question. But it can make the child feel belittled and that there is something fundamentally wrong with them.
20. Stop, Now!
Threatening your child to stop doing something, whether it’s an action or expressing an emotion, is a dead end road. Teaching our children to stuff their emotions or stop doing something they’re doing simply because other people find it annoying (assuming it’s safe) is not a good habit.
30 Disastrous Baby Names That Parents Sadly Name Their Kids
Choosing a name for a newborn is a weighty responsibility for new parents, as it wields a profound influence on a child’s identity. Yet, what unfolds when the selected name emerges as undeniably cringe-worthy? Some parents go to great lengths to deviate from tradition, occasionally venturing into the domain of bewilderment, which leaves others puzzled and scratching their heads.
16 Actresses Who Stepped Away from the Fame to Be Moms and Loved Every Minute of It
Upon the arrival of a new member in the family, mothers find themselves standing at a significant crossroads in their lives. It’s a universal dilemma that hinges on whether to continue nurturing their children at home or to reenter the workforce, especially if they were gainfully employed before embracing motherhood.
17 Vintage Toys from 60s and Beyond That Never Go Out of Style
For countless grown-ups, this enchanting event served as a poignant reminder of the bygone days when they were engrossed in playful adventures with tangible toys rather than immersed in the world of balance sheets and adulthood.
30 Embarrassing Birth Moments That’ll have You Laughing
Are you prepared for a bit of humor? Childbirth, while undeniably gratifying, can also be an arduous and occasionally painful process. With the physical discomfort, emotional roller coasters, and the multitude of choices to be made, it’s hardly astonishing that countless mothers and fathers discover themselves in hilariously awkward scenarios during delivery!
What to Do on Christmas Eve with Your Kids: Making Sweet Memories
Christmas is a time for family, friends, and fun. It’s also a time for making memories that will last a lifetime. If you’re looking for ideas on how to spend Christmas Eve with your kids, look no further!