7 Things You Should Avoid Saying To Your Children

7 Things You Should Avoid Saying To Your Children

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Parenting With No Regrets

Let’s face it if you have been a parent for any length of time you may have said something to your child that immediately you regretted.

It may go something like this:

Child: “Hey mom can I go over to Lillie’s house?”

Parent: “No, not right now you haven’t cleaned your room”

Child: “Aye mom come on why can’t I do that later?”

Parent: “Because I asked you to do it yesterday, and it’s not done.”

Child: “Well, it’s not fair I always have to clean my room, and I never get to do anything I want, Lilly doesn’t have to clean her room every day. I hate living here!”

Parent: “Well, if it’s that bad living here then maybe

You should go live with Lilly and HER PARENTS!”

Does that scenario sound familiar? The conversation started out innocent enough but what went wrong?

Why Do Parents Say Hurtful Things

When your child is being rude and calling you names, you may feel like it’s a personal attack and find yourself retaliating by saying something hurtful.

Possibly, you’ve felt stressed and overwhelmed lately from your responsibilities in and outside of the home, and your child is questioning your authority.

Whatever the underlying source as a parent the key is to try to find a way to remain under control.

According to an article written by Joan, Munson Ph.D. called Losing Your Temper with Your Child? 8 Steps to Help You Stay in Control she lays out these 8 steps to help you stay in control.

  • Recognize Your Triggers
  • Learn How To Calm Yourself
  • Find New Ways To Communicate
  • Let Go Of Guilt
  • Choose Your Battles
  • Apologize When Necessary
  • Find Support
  • Be Kind To Yourself

7 Things To Avoid Saying To Your Children

1. Leave Me Alone

How many times have you heard your child scream”mommy” or “dad” within a short period of time? I know I have clocked it at 30 times in less than 30 minutes!

Yes, at times it may feel like our children our driving us insane but always telling them to “leave you alone” when all you need is a break, is interpreted that you don’t want to spend time with them.

In turn, your child may slowly stop opening up to you and coming to you about things that genuinely need your guidance.

2. Stop or I’ll give you something to cry about

Threatening a child is often another sign of frustration or being at your wit’s end.

Although I myself have said this because I felt whatever they were upset about did not warrant them crying.

Now I understand I should have avoided saying this.

Taking more time to reason with my child, would have been far better than feeling I knew best and that the case was closed and so should their mouth.

The problem with saying this is that eventually it’s no longer effective, and you have to make good on your threat.

Naturally, as parents, we should want to love and nurture our children and I would hope we wouldn’t want to “give our kids something to cry about”.

3. Don’t Eat That…You’ll Get Fat

According to a study published in Eating and Weight Disorders, “a woman’s dissatisfaction with her adult weight was related to the extent she remembered her parents making any comments about her weight.”

Commenting on a child’s weight can be detrimental to a child’s self-esteem.

Rather the focus should be directed at setting up healthy eating habits for the whole family. As a family participating in eating healthy, nutritious food would prove to be far more beneficial to a child’s development.

…Never Say This To Your Children

4. Tell Your Dad I’m Not Speaking To Him

Placing a child in a position as the go-between when the parents aren’t speaking is wrong on so many levels.

From time to time parents will have disagreements, however, they manage to work it out calmly. Whenever this does not happen children feel unprotected and scared.

The best thing to do for the child’s mental health is to keep them out of the disagreement and to remember it’s between the parents, not the kids.

5. You’re Fine!

Telling a child that “they’re fine” minimizes what they are going through.

Brushing off what appears to be a “big deal” to a child makes them feel misunderstood and left to deal with it alone. Ignoring a child’s emotions and immediately trying to make them go away can cause the child to also become angry.

Instead, take the time to talk to the child about their feelings, instead of quickly brushing them away.

6. Hurry Up!

Admit it, you’ve said this right? With hectic schedules and deadlines, there never seems to be enough time.

Running behind is stressful, and screaming at a child to HURRY UP, transfers that stress onto them.

Children told to “hurry up” consistently become anxious and overwhelmed.

Have a planner or calendar visible that the child can see the events coming up. Explain to the child the importance of being on time and help them prepare to be ready well in advance.

7. You’ll do better…or win next time

Children get upset when they don’t perform as well as expected. Parent’s most common first instinct is to try and make them feel better by telling them that will win or do better next time.

What if the child doesn’t? The issue with this is setting up expectations for your child that they again may not meet.

Resulting in the child feeling defeated and upset that not only have they not done well again but this time they have succeeded in letting their parents down.

“The path of development is a journey of discovery that is clear only in retrospect, and it’s rarely a straight line.” – Eileen Kennedy-MooreSmart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child’s True Potential

A better way of helping a child maneuver through disappointments is to explain to them that they should always just do their best. As they grow in knowledge, strength, and training so will their experiences and achievements.

Related Articles:

Never Say These 23 Things When You Are Angry

4 Styles Of Parenting What You Should Know

How To Cope With Being Discouraged: Feeling Depressed

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Meg
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Meg

uuughgghhghg. I am so guilty of #6. I think I say it like once a day! I can be very guilty of being in a rush and hurrying everyone around me. I always want to accomplish the very most possible in a day. This is a powerful post, you have really convicted me. Thank you.

Sarah Butterfield
Guest

This is a great list! I really struggle with number 6, but I’m working on it!

Christina
Guest

This really hit me I’m so bad with #6! Rushing around seems to be an issue without even realizing it. Great articled, Shared!

Samantha
Guest

While my kids were in school last year I realized I did a lot of rushing in the morning. My phrase was “come on, we have to go” though, which isn’t much better than “Hurry up!”. I’ve been working to not be so rushy with the kiddos in the mornings- hoping this school year will prove that my efforts are working! Great list of ideas. I definitely agree that these things shouldn’t be said to a child! Many of them were said to me growing up, which has fueled me to not use them with my own little ones! I… Read more »

Katie- Louise
Guest

I am so guilty of 7! My teen daughters have no go when we are trying to get out of the house in a morning. Hopefully, in September it won’t be as difficult.

Sam
Guest
Sam

These are all really great! Especially hurry up and you’re fine, I can’t tell you how many times I hear parents say this to their children and I’m sure that at some point, I will inadvertently say it to mine. Mine are currently 4 months and 18 months so we haven’t had many opportunities for those things to be said, however I feel that I’m at an advantage of being aware in advance not to say them.

Lillian
Guest

You got me with number 1 especially when I am on my desk working. Then there is number 6. Such a great post.

April Key C. Rode
Guest

What great lists! I am guilty of number 1 and the number 7 things I always do! Thanks for sharing this to us and its a good reminder to every parent!

Maggie
Guest

Great list! We follow the peaceful parenting approach and are mindful of how we speak to our daughter. #3 is a huge trigger for me, we talk about making healthy choices vs. telling her that certain foods will make her fat. I also agree with never putting your kids between an argument you and your spouse are having.

Ashley
Guest

These are great suggestions. Such a valuable resource of information here !

Cara
Guest

“Hurry up!” is a big one for me, and I hate when I do it. At the end of the day, it’s my fault not my kid’s that we are running late, but I am turning it into his fault when I urge him to hurry up. I try really hard to plan ahead and stay ahead of schedule so that I don’t end up doing this…

meghan & melissa
Guest

These are some really good points. it is very important to watch what we say to our kids.

Elizabeth Anderson
Guest

Reading this makes me realize I need to do better at watching what I say to my kids. Thanks for the reminder and explaining why I need to think of something better to say! Great post!

Natalie Heatley
Guest

I am guilty of a few of these but I have been very intentional about watching how I speak to my kiddos. I don’t want them to have to one day heal from the things I’ve said. I will be sure to check out this book.

Dawn
Guest

My kiddos aren’t old enough yet for me to say most of these things… but I’m definitely guilty of saying “you’re fine” to my toddler a lot. I hate it when I say it! I’ll have to remember about the others ones once the boys get older!

Lori
Guest

Gahhhhh I’m so horrible what an eye-opener. I really need to step back and reevaluate. Thanks for the tips, and non-judgment!

Sara
Guest

Great tips. We need to remember as parents, that what we say to them when they are little stays with them forever.

anna
Guest

This post is a great reminders for parents to be aware of what we say around our kids. 3# especially resonates with me because I’ve seen many young children develop eating disorder behaviors after hearing adults around them mentioned something about “being fat” and needing to lose weight. Thank you for this post.

Mhea
Guest

Keeping all these reminders in mind!

SARAH
Guest
SARAH

Definitely guilty of number six as well. Although I think I use it more with my husband than my children, wonder if it has the same negative effects?

Sahar
Guest

This is a great list for all parents. Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

Adrian
Guest

As a mom of 3 boys, I think I have said every one of these things to my kids, probably lots of times. Fortunately kids are resilient and they are all happy and well-adjusted adults now. The one benefit to some of these things is that it teaches them to consider other people’s needs as well as their own. There really were times when I needed them to not bother me, to stop crying or to hurry up, but kids tend to be completely self-focused and I think it’s necessary to teach them to consider others as well.

Anissa
Guest

I really relate to your last point. When parents praise their children for working hard and putting in an effort, rather than winning, they encourage emotional resilience and a focus on the important things. Great list!

AshleyGivens.com
Guest

Interesting take and thoughts to ponder.

Loren
Guest

Great tips on a very important topic. I am guilty of many of them. Kids are great, but they should come with instructions.

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