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    50 Words You Should Never Say to Your Child

    Team ParentCircle Team ParentCircle 7 Mins Read

    Team ParentCircle Team ParentCircle

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    Written by Team ParentCircle and published on 26 July 2021.

    It is essential that you do not use words that would hurt your child when you interact with her. This is an essential step in ensuring a positive parent-child relationship.

    Toddler to Teen
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    50 Words You Should Never Say to Your Child


    If you thought parenting means just providing your child with all her needs, showering your love on her and disciplining her when need be, think again. You may be wrong. Parenting also means, apart from all these, establishing a bond with your child. And, the most important tool in establishing this bond is communication. If you are cross when you speak to your child all the time and punctuate your vocabulary with harsh phrases that would hurt her, you can never enjoy a 'connect' with her. So, watch what you say to your child!

    When a parent uses harsh and demeaning words when speaking to a child, it can destroy the child's self-confidence. Apart from harsh words and phrases, the tone and body language too count to a great extent.
    - *Arundhati Swamy

    Here's a list of 50 words and phrases you should never say to your child:

    1. You're impossible!

    2. You're such a big disappointment!

    3. You're useless!

    4. You can never do it.

    5. Are you an idiot?

    6. What a spoilt brat you are!

    7. Selfish brat!

    8. Does anything ever get into that head of yours?

    9. Shame on you!

    10. Have you gone crazy?

    11. What do you think of yourself?

    12. You're a big burden.

    13. You're so unlucky.

    14. You're such a pain.

    15. How irritating you are!

    16. Come on, act like a man. Stop being a kid!

    17. I'll kick you!

    Counsellor's take:

    The above words and phrases can impact how a child thinks about himself - his 'self-concept'. He can have thoughts such as, 'I am not good enough', or 'I can never be good at anything'.
    - *Arundhati Swamy

    18. God knows where you came from!

    19. I'll disown you.

    20. Don't even bother talking to me.

    21. Get lost! You don't belong here.

    22. Leave me alone!

    23. Go to hell!

    24. Did you think I have nothing better to do than sit and listen to you?

    25. Get out of the house and don't you ever come back!

    26. Just get out of my sight.

    Counsellor's take:

    The above words and phrases can impact how a child values himself - his 'self-worth'. He can have thoughts such as, 'I am not important to any one', or 'I cannot contribute in any way'.
    - *Arundhati Swamy

    27. Who are you to say that?

    28. Just mind your own business.

    29. Nobody gave you the right to do that!

    30. Don't ask any questions. Just do as I say!

    31. Don't you dare...!

    32. Just listen to me.

    33. I don't care what you think.

    34. You don't have the right to decide.

    Counsellor's take:

    The above words and phrases hampers the development of critical thinking skills in the child. It signifies an 'autocratic parenting style'. The child can have thoughts such as, 'I can't think for myself', or 'I am afraid; therefore, I will obey'.
    - *Arundhati Swamy

    35. Life is so messed up.

    36. Life was easier when I was single.

    37. You're just like your mom/dad.

    38. Get the hell out of my way.

    39. I'll give you one whack.

    Counsellor's take:

    The above words and phrases signify an 'over-stressed parent' who takes out his anger, frustration and helplessness on the child. The child can have thoughts such as, 'It's my fault', or 'I am a burden to my parents'.
    - *Arundhati Swamy

    40. He's a boy, so...

    41. She's a girl, so...

    42. Big boys/girls don't behave like this.

    43. If you're a good boy, stop crying now.

    44. Stop crying! Don't be such a baby!

    45. A boy can do whatever he wants to.

    Counsellor's take:

    The above words and phrases reflect on the parent's 'gender bias'. It influences gender roles and promotes stereotyping. It may make a boy feel that suppressing emotions is a sign of strength and it may make a girl feel restricted. Such comments may also make children put each other down.
    - *Arundhati Swamy

    46. If you lose some weight, you'll look pretty.

    47. How skinny/fat you are!

    48. How sweaty you are - you stink like a pig!

    49. Why can't you be like him/her?

    50. I don't care what you do; you have to top your class.

    Counsellor's take:

    The above words and phrases can lead to 'body-image issues'. Such language can shame the child or define her personality narrowly. The child can have thoughts such as, 'I don't like myself', or 'I can never satisfy my parent'.
    - *Arundhati Swamy

    *Arundhati Swamy is a counsellor and the Head of Parent Engagement Programs at ParentCircle.

    Hope you liked this article. To get expert tips and read interesting articles on a wide variety of parenting topics, subscribe now to our magazine.

    Comments

    Anita Singh Oct 23 2018

    Well said, agree with word by word

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