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Ten things you should never say to your kids

April 6th, 2008 / 17 Comments

Have you ever squeezed too much toothpaste and tried to get it back in? You can’t do it. sad kids

It’s the same with words. Out of frustration, we often say things we don’t mean. But once the words are out, you can’t take them back.

Here is a list of things I’ve actually heard parents say to their children. You might think, “I will never say that.” But in our frustration, we blurt out similar hurtful words. My tongue is bruised from biting on it too many times!

Here is a list of 10 awful things I’ve heard parents say that we should never say to our children:

1. My life would be so much better if I didn’t have kids.
2. You are so clumsy. Can’t you do anything right?
3. Here, let me do it, you are doing it all wrong.
4. What do you have in there for brains??
5. If I die tomorrow, it’ll be your fault.
6. If you don’t behave, I’m going to sell you.
7. Everybody else can do it, it’s so simple, how can you get it wrong?
8. Look at you, who would want to marry you?
9. I can’t stand you. Get out of my sight.
10. Look at the kids over there, why can’t you be more like them?

Do you have more to add to the list?

Photo by Martini Captures

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  1. This is a very good post. I am not a mother yet myself but hopes to be one soon.I agree with you, parent’s should definitely watch what they say to their kids or they would bruise them emotionally for their life.

  2. Great list. Well, not great that people have actually said those things, but I mean you did a great job in nailing it right on the head. Some parents are just so clueless about the things that they say…kids are like sponges, they take in everything. And they are like elephants–they never forget (at least the important stuff, anyway).

    Here’s a couple more I’ve heard:
    –I don’t care what you think. (Or, the very similar: I don’t care what you want.)
    –Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?
    –You are such a crybaby.
    –Stop crying or I’m going to give you something to cry about. (That one really drives me nuts–umm…if they are already crying, then they have a reason, don’t ya think? LOL)

  3. Okay, I possibly have said #6. Maybe. Just once. Or twice. Okay, I’ve NEVER said it, but I’ve thought it. Who wants to buy a couple of kids who don’t pick up their socks? Anyone? Anyone?

  4. Jade: hope sites like this doesn’t discourage you from being a mom!

    Michelle: I especially get angry when I hear parents call their boys a cry baby. Let the kid cry, for goodness sakes.

    Momo: if socks are your biggest problem, I’ll take your kids anytime.

  5. That list makes me want to cry. I haven’t said any of those, but I’m not winning any Mom of the Year awards today either.

    My oldest has been sick but she’s well enough to be ornery. She’s been pushing my buttons and I lost it with her. I think the worst thing I said was “I don’t care,” but there was yelling. I yelled. Not a proud moment. UGH.

    Great post. 🙂

  6. […] in Parenting has a list of things you should never say to your child. You need to keep your cool. Once you say it you will never be able to take it back. Tags: […]

  7. Great, great post. I love this. And that I can say that I never have said any of these. All of these bring down a childs self esteem.

    And that is the last thing we want. We want to build up not tear down.

  8. My mom says some of those things.

  9. Izzy: moms are not perfect and may say hurtful things they don’t mean. Give her a chance to apologize by letting her know if she’s hurt you.

  10. hmm..number 6 is a little familiar to me too… but I only say it in jest when one of my kids eats the last piece of pie that I was saving for myself!
    I believe you get what you expect from your children-keep telling them that they are stupid or clumsy and that’s how they will be…

  11. Here are a couple suggestions for the list…
    When I was a teenager my mom said to me once “I guess you do look kind of pretty”. It hurt my feelings so much like she thought I normally looked ugly. Also my dad would always ask me when referring to clothes being purchased “Are you sure those will fit you? That doesn’t look big enough to fit on you.” He probably didn’t mean it to be hurtful but it made me feel bad about my weight.

  12. When I was about 15, 16 years old, I was not really happy with the way I looked, to say the least. I said that looking in the mirror made me want to puke. Then one day my dad had covered all the mirrors in the house to prevent the mess. My dad really was not a person who wanted to deliberately hurt people but I am now 56 years old and I still remember this as if it was yesterday.
    Also, I did not have to work very hard in school to get good grades. When I came home with a 9 or 10 (would that be an A+ or A- in the US? Anyway, my mom used to say that the B- or C+ of a girl or boy in my class who had to work very hard, were worth more than my grades. I promised myself there and then that I would never say that to my children and I never have.

  13. Parents, please don’t say any of those things to your kids.

    When I was about 10, I had a 3 year old brother, and wanted more than anything to spend more time with my mother. I asked her one day if we could have a weekly time to talk to her, where it would be just her and me. She told me she didn’t have time for that. I’m 24 now, have never forgotten those words, never forgiven her for putting my brother first, and rarely ever talk to her.

    Also, a list of things you SHOULD say to your kids should start with “I’m sorry” and “thank you.” I never remember my parents apologizing for a single thing they did, even years later when I told them how much it had hurt me when they threatened to and did beat me.

    Parenting is a serious thing. Take it seriously.

  14. My mother said all of the above things, and took it one step further: I can remember this speech she gave to me when I was about age nine: “I own you, and everything you own. Everything you see here, in your room, is mine, not yours. You own nothing. If I want to go into your room and throw away everything, I will.”

    After that little speech, she made good her word. My mother would go into my room at regular intervals, throwing out items she considered ugly, or uninteresting to her, all without asking me what I thought or wanted.

    Books and photos of my friends and I were a favorite target, as were most of the little personal trinkets and treasures teenage girls like. Poof. Gone.

    Sometimes she would rearrange the room totally, painting it in a color she preferred, no matter if I disliked it or not. She did not warn me in advance, I feel because she didn’t want me to get a chance to hide anything I wanted to keep. I’d come home to find my room all torn up, and in the process of renovation, with most of my personal things gone, and her daring me to say a word. If I protested in the slightest, the punishment would be very harsh.

    I came away from my childhood feeling that no matter what I had in life, sooner or later someone in a position of power would take it away, just because they could.

    Please don’t do that to your children. It will make them forever feel unimportant and insecure. I’m sixty-four and I still fight this feeling every day. I don’t allow myself to become attached to anything or anyone, because deep inside, I’m afraid it will be taken from me, even though my mother’s been dead for over 25 years. It’s an irrational fear, but because it was forged in childhood, it’s hard to overcome.

    So please remember..children are fragile, and they have memories like elephants. What you might consider to be nothing, may mean more than you realize.

  15. My mother once told me “it kills me to tell you this, but I really do like your sister a lot more than you”. I don’t know what bothered me more – that she said it, or that she tried to make out like it was painful for her to do so.

    As an adult, she told me, among many things, that I could “never understand how precious those children are” referring to my sister’s 2 children – I was a mother of 3 at the time. When she moved on to bringing my children to it, it made me lose the last shred of emotion I held for her. I now speak to her only to maintain the relationship I have with my father.

    I am the first to admit that I have a temper and when I have full time work and a messy house and rowdy kids it is hard. But I am proud that I have never ever said any of these things, and I apologise when I do lose it and yell at my kids.

  16. Im a teen and heres something

    NEVER tell your kids especially teen with adhd That your DISSAPOINTED WITH THEM you wanna talk about damaged self esteem perfect example

  17. My parents have said almost all of the things above and I’m clear that they would always love my younger brother more than me 🙁


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