“Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it.”– Harold Hulbert
8 Phrases You Should NEVER Use When Talking to Children
1. “You are not [something] enough!”
If you tell your child that something is lacking in them be it something on the inside or on the outside it hurts. While you are not specifically saying they are not enough, you are implying it. This is something that will grow into your child who will not feel good enough in life overall if you do not address it soon.
Try saying “You are [something] enough, we can work harder at it.”
2. “Stop crying right now!”
As a parent, you probably told your child that it was time to go to bed and then witnessed them suddenly begin to cry. If you, as the parent, reprimand him or her and tell them to stop crying, they understand it as they shouldn’t show emotions. An alternative would be to ask them for the reason they are upset.
Something like “It’s okay to cry but you still need to understand what you did was wrong.” This will get you much further.
3. “I’m disappointed in you”
This is usually said when the child already feels bad. You can be disappointed in everything in this world, but never in your own child because you are there to lead them on the right path. Guide them back when they do something wrong and teach them and explain then what was done wrong and why.
Try saying something like “What you did was wrong, let’s talk this over okay?”
4. “Big boys/girls don’t get scared.”
Yes, they do.
This is not protecting your child in any way. They are scared; you cannot stop their fear by telling them not to be afraid. Everyone sometimes gets scared, even you. Face your fears instead of running away from them that is what you should be teaching your children.
This will not protect your child. They are scared. You cannot stop their fear by telling them not to be afraid. Sometimes everyone is scared, including you. Face your fears instead of running away from them that is what you should be teaching your children.
Say something like “It is okay to be scared, everyone gets scared sometimes, but I know something that will help.”
5. “You are worthless”
This is perhaps the worst thing a child can hear, especially when you’re its mental figure and they expect most to be approved. In this way, you take the child on a journey that never ends to seek approval from the outside world. You make them believe that they have nothing instead of helping them. Instead of saying this, you can say, “It’s not your day, but you’ll do better next time” or “No one’s perfect” or “You can do better”.
Try saying something like “No one is a perfect sweetie, you will do better next time.”
6. “You are a bad kid!”
You should never make your child believe that they are bad as a whole. This is also associated with using the word rotten. You should try to use the phrase “What you did was bad” because their actions may not be as good as you would like, but that should not make you think negatively of your child as a whole. We all make mistakes, that does not mean that we are all terrible people.
7. “I do everything for you!”
Duh, this is your child, you should do everything for them. You should not blame them, or hold that against them. They did not choose to be born. You should be ashamed of yourself if you have said this to your child. They are not the problem when it comes to what you do for them. They are there for you to take care of not the other way around.
8. “You’re fat/dark/ugly etc.”
Whatever or however your children are, ultimately they are your reflection.
It’s not their fault if they are dark or have more moles than other children. If your child is fat then they probably know it as chances are that they already suffer from name-calling/bullying at school or playgrounds.
Psychologists explain that this phrase will teach the child not to face the fear or problem in later life. Parents should tell their children that it is completely okay to be scared and also they should encourage children to do the right thing whenever they are scared of something.