5 Things NOT to Say to Your Child

Our youngest granddauaghter at 18 mo old.
@sgbrown (1643)
United States
January 26, 2016 7:25am CST
Raising a child is the hardest job any parent will ever have! We know they don’t come with instructions and all we can do is try our best. Sometimes our children can get on our last nerve and we speak before we think about what we are going to say to them. Sometimes these words can be very detrimental. 1. I’m Going to Leave You Here! – How many times have you heard a parent tell their child that they are going to leave without them? I hear this quite often and it makes me so mad! The world is still a big scary place to a little child and their parent, the person that is supposed to protect them, is telling them they are going to abandon them. They should make their child mind by disciplining them, not by scaring them to death! 2. I Don’t Care – Just the other day, I overheard a child about 4 or 5, trying to tell their parent something. The mom quickly retorted back that she didn’t care. You could see the expression on this little child’s face change so quickly from excited to very sad. Little children take what we say very seriously, do we really want them to think we really don’t care what they have to say? 3. Because I Said So – I know we are not supposed to allow our children to argue with us, but when a child asks why, I don’t think we should simply say, “Because I said so.” If we will simply take a minute to explain why to the child, it may not only satisfy them, but it will also be a learning experience for them. 4. Go Away! – This one breaks my heart! I know there are many times that we are very busy and our children want our attention. They want our attention because they love us. When we tell them to go away, we might as well be saying I don’t want you. Take the time to see what you child wants and then explain to them that you are very busy and need to finish what you are doing first. 5. Why Are You So Stupid? – This is another thing I hear quite often. So your child does something they shouldn’t have, they make a mistake, and you are going to tell them they are stupid? Really? If you say this enough to your child, they are going to start to believe it. What does this do for the self-confidence? You can ask them why they did what they did and then explain to them why it was not the right thing to do, but don’t tell them they are stupid! I know there are other things that should never be said to our children, very harsh things that we know we should never say. The ones I have mentioned here are common things I hear parents say to their children, without realizing the hurtful effect it can have. Be thoughtful to your children and think before you speak!
28 people like this
25 responses
• Jacksonville, Florida
26 Jan 16
I agree with all of this. Children are like sponges they take everything in and most of the time they take it to heart.
7 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
26 Jan 16
Very true and so many times, we may not really mean what we say, but the child does not realize that! Gotta love those little sponges!
3 people like this
• United States
28 Jan 16
I hope you read that I enjoyed your post very much and that if I had been give the opportunity to be a parent, at least how mom raised me would of helped a great deal even if I believe I could not be very good at parenting . . . @sgbrown
@Marcyaz (35669)
• United States
26 Jan 16
Very good points about what to say or not say to a child. I have heard some parents say the very same things and I feel so sorry for the child who then looks so sad. Some parents just do not think before saying things to a child.
6 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
26 Jan 16
Several years ago, one of my daughter in laws was trying to get her 3 year old son to get in the car. She told him that if he didn't hurry up, she was going to leave him there. We were all at one of my son's home, so it wouldn't have been a big deal, but he was scared that his mom would really leave him. I explained to her how I didn't believe that was the right thing to do and I would rather see her give him a swat on the butt for not minding than to say that to him!
5 people like this
@Morleyhunt (19750)
• Canada
26 Jan 16
Child: why can't I go outside to play Adult: because it is bedtime, it is dark outside and it is raining. Child: but I want to go play outside. Adult: sorry, you can't play outside, now. Tomorrow morning, after breakfast. Child: but why can't I play outside Adult because I said so. If you are a parent. There are times, that is the ultimate, final answer. If you have children....this happens.
5 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
I agree, there are those time when the child will continue to ask, but usually if you let them know that you are trying to protect from danger or getting sick, they will usually understand. If that doesn't work, then using that as a final answer is a different story.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (157846)
• Switzerland
26 Jan 16
Great advice, children are sensible and they get easily hurt by adults words. Parents should take the time to listen to their children, they are more important than everything else.
5 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
Very true, Anna! Our children are the most important things in our lives. We should all treat them that way. It's too bad that some parents don't realize this.
3 people like this
@amnabas (10298)
• Karachi, Pakistan
26 Jan 16
I think to be harsh to kids results in raising a bad personality.
5 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
26 Jan 16
In many cases, I am sure that is true!
3 people like this
• United States
26 Jan 16
No kids so I have a different outlook on what to say or not say to them LOL
5 people like this
• United States
26 Jan 16
Those are horrid things to say to a child. Yes, one must choose words very carefully. Children are so susceptible to the way we word things. They must never be made to feel neglected or unwanted, stupid or abandoned. It can carry with them all through out their life that feeling.
4 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
I was fortunate that my parents never spoke to me like this, but I remember hearing a friend of my mom's asking her young son why he was so stupid. I was shocked! She spoke horribly to him and it affected him terribly.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Jan 16
@sgbrown It is terrible..unfortunately my youngest sister should not have been a mother either..always talking her kids like trash.
2 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
28 Jan 16
@TiarasOceanView That's very sad. She will regret it someday.
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (62810)
• Philippines
26 Jan 16
We really need to be careful on what to say to little toddlers. Since it can make or break their innocent souls. Parenting is a difficult job. It takes a lot of patient.
4 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
Parenting is the hardest and most important job we will ever have.
2 people like this
@Shavkat (62810)
• Philippines
27 Jan 16
@sgbrown That's the reason why I bow my head for those parents who can do their unconditional responsibility to their children. It brings light in every family members.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Jan 16
Unfortunately I was raised with those 5 things as my parents guideline. I heard all of those words more often than anything that was positive. My parents went by the rule "children should be seen and not heard"
4 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
I'm sorry, Marilyn. It must have been hard to grow up like that. I hope you overcame and these things didn't affect you as you grew up.
1 person likes this
@tahashif (63)
• Karachi, Pakistan
26 Jan 16
Yeah I am totally agree with you because I too have two raising children and I have to say many things not to do in whole Long day and they don't hear and understand them
4 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
26 Jan 16
Some people just don't realize the consequences of what they say to their children. I have had to get onto my daughter a couple of time for what she says to our granddaughter. She doesn't mean to be hurtful, just doesn't understand that her child doesn't always understand that she is joking.
2 people like this
@fishtiger58 (30338)
• Momence, Illinois
26 Jan 16
I love my sons would die for them, never would I have ever said these mean things to them. They are grown now and I am pleased about the men they have both become.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
I'm glad to hear this, @fishtiger58 I'm sure you did a wonderful job bringing up your boys and I am sure they appreciate the fine job you did!
2 people like this
@fishtiger58 (30338)
• Momence, Illinois
27 Jan 16
@sgbrown I sure hope so
2 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
@fishtiger58 Boys aren't much on saying things like that, but I am sure they do!
2 people like this
@Syllogism (212)
• China
27 Jan 16
I can't agree more. I've got two kids and most of the time I'd pay much attention to the way I communicate with them, but I have occasionally committed those mistakes when in a bad mood.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
I think most of us say some things that we don't really mean when we are in a bad mood. It is important that we go back and apologize and tell our children that we didn't mean it.
2 people like this
• China
27 Jan 16
@sgbrown Yes, that's right. Apology is the sign of courage. When we say sorry to our kids, we're in fact setting an example for them of how to deal with our mistakes: not to ignore or deny, just admit and apologize.
2 people like this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
28 Jan 16
@sgbrown Yes we should apologise if we slip up,just as we like them to
2 people like this
@jaboUK (54011)
• United Kingdom
26 Jan 16
You've picked some bad ones here Sheila, but as you say they really are used.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
It's sad, Janet, but I hear people using these words quite often. I get on to one of my daughter in laws from time to time. I know she doesn't mean what she says, but her children don't always know that. She may not like me very much, but that's just the way it is.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (54011)
• United Kingdom
27 Jan 16
@sgbrown I should think it's impossible to bite your tongue in those circumstances.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
@jaboUK My grandchildren's lives come before her feelings. I try to be nice about it, but I think she thinks I am an interfering mother in law.
3 people like this
@PainsOnSlate (20254)
• Canada
26 Jan 16
Those who use those phrases will eventually lose any respect they expect from their kids. It's very disturbing to hear parents disrespect their children. Education helps but not always. Interesting post.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
Thank you, @PainsOnSlate Those parents who talk to their children like this will one day wonder why their children are not more kind to them as they get older!
2 people like this
• Canada
27 Jan 16
@sgbrown it's heart breaking to see this type of attitude. I think we need to love and respect our kids but still being the parents, demanding respect. All of that can be done with love instead of disrespect and nasty words.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
@PainsOnSlate Very well said, Marilyn!
2 people like this
@paigea (22198)
• Canada
27 Jan 16
My sister in law was always telling her son that she was leaving and if he didn't hurry he would have to find a bus. He pretty much didn't believe her. I thought that she would have trouble when she did need to make an ultimatum and he would just not believe her. But he is just the nicest most well behaved child I've ever met. And I am sure that is because his parents really do all of the things you are suggesting. They explain and discuss everything with him.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
28 Jan 16
@paigea Children want to understand "why". It doesn't take much time to explain your decision to them. Most of the time, it satisfies them. I'm glad to hear your nephew turned out to be such a fine young man!
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (67233)
• Roseburg, Oregon
27 Jan 16
The biological mother of my grandson/son that i adopted would shove him away from her and tell him i never wanted you. So she got her wish I did not let her near him again after I adopted him. she did the same to her other three children that he loss to their fathers.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
That is one of the absolute worst things a mother could say to her child! I am so glad you have him and that she is not allowed to see him. I hope she regrets this some day! It was good of you to adopt him and I know he gets all the love he can handle from you!
2 people like this
@ko31024 (493)
• Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
26 Jan 16
My parents always say to me those 5 words :( now i am grown men but i still love my parents
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
I'm sorry, Munkjbaatar. I'm glad that the negativity didn't change the way you feel about your parents.
2 people like this
@1creekgirl (10351)
• United States
26 Jan 16
I totally agree with everything on the list except number 3. Sometimes you shouldn't argue with a child and "because I said so" is the end of it.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
I think an explanation for your answer is not only kinder, but also a learning experience for them. Sometimes, the answer can teach them some life lessons without them having to learn them the hard way. I agree that we shouldn't argue with our children, one explanation should be enough, after that they would be in trouble for arguing!
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (99477)
• United States
26 Jan 16
I worked in a department of a large retailer. Kids would get lost in the store, and they might find me. I first told each child they did the right thing, because when I would page for the parents inevitably they would tell the child off for getting lost. We forget the power of our words.
3 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
Yes, we do sometimes forget the power of our words. The sad thing is that our young children don't....
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (40335)
• Germany
27 Jan 16
Parents should have a license for raising children.
2 people like this
@sgbrown (1643)
• United States
27 Jan 16
I couldn't agree more, @Maluse!
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
28 Jan 16
Yes @MALUSE a course of instruction followed by a test might weed out some unsuitable ones!
1 person likes this