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5 Things Parents Should Not Say to Their Kids

I wish I could be a perfect mom – saying only what is kind and true to my kids. But the reality is, there are times when I get disappointed with my kids, like when they misbehave or don’t do what I tell them to do, and then I say things that I never should.

The following are 5 things parents should not say to their kids. Sadly, I have made the mistake of saying these words, or something similar, to my kids before and in the process hurt their feelings or created even more problems. Have you ever said these things to your kids before?

1. “I wish you’d never been born.”

No child should ever have to hear their mom or dad make this remark. Even though you are so irritated with your child, you should not say this. Bite your tongue if you have to. Not only does this expression hurt a child’s emotions when it is said, it destroys their self-esteem and makes them think they are not loved.

No child should ever have to hear their mom or dad make this remark. Even though you are so irritated with your child, you should not say this. Bite your tongue if you have to. Not only does this expression hurt a child’s emotions when it is said, it destroys their self-esteem and makes them think they are not loved.

2. “Hurry up or I’ll leave you here.”

Kids do not understand time like grown-ups do. If your little one already has a fear of being left behind or getting lost, when you make this statement you are going to add to their anxiety. Try to find out why they are so slow and do whatever you can to get them going without triggering any fear. Check out this post to get some tips on dealing with dawdling.

3. “You never do what I ask you to do.”

Whenever you say this repeatedly, your child will eventually start to think that they cannot do anything correctly. They will start to think whether they should bother trying at all.

It is better to say, “I would like you to do this in this way.” Be precise in what you want so that they will know and be able to carry out what you requested. Don’t be impatient. Sometimes we think that they are intentionally not obeying, but the fact of the matter is they just honestly don’t know how to do it.

4. “I wish you were more like your brother or sister.”

This statement is one of the reasons why brothers and sisters fight or envy each other. Nobody wants to be compared with another person. They would like to be valued for who they are. Making statements such as this causes your child to feel inferior and stimulates sibling rivalry.

A child who hears this frequently may feel that they can’t do anything good, because they will never be like their brother or sister. Instead of comparing your kids, learn to recognize that each kid is unique with their own strong points and talents. Celebrate their uniqueness and love them for who they really are.

5. “We can’t afford that.”

It’s not really wrong to say that if that is the truth. Is it? Perhaps a better way to say it is, “We don’t have the budget for that now.” Or maybe just tell your kids that you can’t buy what they want. Period. You do not have to give them a good reason why your reply is no to a request.

When you tell your kids you cannot afford to buy something frequently, they may start to think that money can buy happiness. They may likewise come to the conclusion that your family is in financial troubles, be it true or not.

Moms and dads need to be careful in saying things to their children. When you do say one of these phrases, say sorry to your child right away. Tell them that you were wrong and you did not mean what you said. By doing this, you are showing that you love them and you are trying to communicate better with them.

Children must have parents who inspire and build them up, not destroy their self-esteem with sloppy words they don’t mean.

What do you think?


Michi said…
I agree that no one is perfect and we can never be a supermom. But we can be a good mom that will raise good children. With regard to number 5, I also say “It is expensive, we will save for that”, “It is not in our budget or it is not our priority for now”. But there are times that I just said no, we will not buy this or that.
ceemee said…
This is a very helpful post! I also have to stop myself and check if what I’m saying is hurtful or not. It’s so hard!
Chin chin said…
Yes, I know it is difficult especially when we’re at the moment of anger or disappointment. But we really need to control our tongue.
Khim said…
I am not a parent yet (but soon hehe) and I do agree that those on your list should not be spoken by parents. #4 is a big no-no for me. I don’t want to feel being compared to or being compared at. Parents should be an inspiration.
Elizabeth O. said…
I agree mostly with number 1 and number 4. These things will make your child question their existence and their purpose as well. I hope this is something that parents take note of.
Shelly said…
The number one on the list is very cruel but it’s a sad reality that some parents are indeed guilty of it. I tend to say the items 2 and 3. Glad you posted this, I’ll make sure I won’t say those things again.
Mommy Anna said…
Every mom wants to be a perfect one but there a times that we also learn from them. I agree with your facts on to what not to say with them
Dominique Goh said…
Those are really harsh words to say to kids.. really bad at it affects their well being.
TeamSoldao said…
The number one is the most cruel words you’ll say to a kid. I can’t even stand hearing them. Kids are the blessings from God. Though we parents are not perfect, but it’s always nice to say sorry to a kid after the incident and explain why we were angry.
Chin chin said…
It’s not easy to say sorry to your kid, but if it’s necessary, it’s just the right thing to do.
Allan said…
With regards to the #2, we used to talk to my son that we are going to leave for work and will not wait for him anymore. If he refused, we will just tell him to hurry because he will be late for school.
For the #5, we will just say, not for now, he needs to save for it so he can buy what he wants.
Nilyn Matugas said…
completely agree to all of these! I hope I can keep these in my heart and not tell my son any of these at all.
Mommy Maye said…
Thank you for this sis. I know I should be careful when saying things to my son. As much as I could, I try not stay calm all the time. But there are times I easily lose my temper and can not control what I said. It’s always painful when I realize I should not said what I just said.
Chin chin said…
I totally understand. I sometimes find myself in the same predicament. This post is really a reminder for parents like us.

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