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Whether they’re used to get naughty children to behave or to bargain with the kids when they just won’t eat their greens, here are some things you should avoid saying to your little ones.

1. You’re Making Me Sad: Children should never feel responsible for their parents’ feelings and emotions- parents are the ones to worry about this! This can be especially damaging if down the road you encounter tough times and children begin to blame themselves.

2. I’m So Fat and I Need To Go On A Diet: If you display this negative self image in front of your children, they will grow up to spot flaws in themselves which can lead to low self esteem and body image issues. Also to avoid: obviously, never call a child ‘fat’ as even if they are overweight, they will not benefit from being labelled in such a horrible way – instead help them with changes to their diet. “Don’t eat that or you’ll get fat” is another one to avoid- focus on why healthy foods are so beneficial, not why putting on weight is so negative.

3. Stop Crying: Don’t tell children to stop crying. Kids need to know that expressing emotion in all its forms is okay, so allow them time to cry. Also to avoid: “Don’t be mad at your brother/sister”. They cant help being angry- it’s a perfectly acceptable emotion, as long as how they deal with this emotion is appropriate.

4. Big Boys/Girls Don’t Get Scared: Even adults get scared! Don’t dismiss their feelings.

5. I’m Disappointed In You: Usually this one is pulled out when a child already knows what they’ve done wrong and feel guilty. Making them feel responsible for your disappointment and sadness only makes them feel more horrible!

6. Do What I Say…Or Else: Explain to your child why you want them to do something and the reasoning behind your instructions. This will be more successful than the “because I said so” route. Also to avoid: “it’s my way or the highway” – a phrase and mentality of many authoritarian style parents- proven by the Journal of Adolescence to actually create more out-of- control children than parents whose children respect and trust them.

7. I Hate It When You…: According to the experts, if you use this one frequently enough, children just start to hear “I hate you” and stop distinguishing between parents disliking their behaviour rather than them.

8. I Do Everything For You: Whilst it may seem like it at times, you actually don’t. According to Brad Reedy, author of “The Journey of the Heroic Parent: Your Child’s Struggle and the Road Home”, “one of the most damaging things for a child is the un-lived life of a parent…this leaves the child with no place to put their hurt and anger…‘the problem must be me’.”

9. I Told You So: Don’t brag about how much you know- childhood is where kids have to learn for themselves through (a lot of) mistakes, even if that means falling off the couch when they were told not to jump on it.

10. I Wish You Could Be Like Your Sibling: Each child is different! Don’t compare them- celebrate their differences and help them through their own unique challenges.

Share your comments below

  • I think we just need to be careful how we word things, easy to slip up though.

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  • I think we’ve all done this and one time

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  • All good and well and reasonable… and I think I heard or felt many of them from my parent when I was growing up. However, there has been a time to explain to my son my disappointment (not in him, but) in his behaviour. It was worthy of that conversation.

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  • Agree with all of them. We should never put our kids down, compare them to other kids/siblings or tell them they are not good enough.

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  • This is such a great post, as I read it I can remember some of them being said to me and how I felt after. Good things to keep in mind when you are frustrated and tired

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  • Such a good resource and a great reminder. I feel some people get stuck with sayings their parents said to them and it continues the cycle

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  • Every single one of these is so true. The hard part is getting others to follow these rules eg my MIL

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  • I agree with all of them,You can use the words in different way.

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  • I find myself agreeing with a lot of these things

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  • I feel as if a few of them are ok to be done

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  • Good points, we should be careful with our words.

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  • Great advice, I wish my parents had known some of these things, but luckily I managed to refrain from them, we always should remember to tell our kids what they are doing right more than what they are doing wrong and never do the blame game. We are responsible for our own happiness, kids should never feel like they are.

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  • All good points but yes I guess as parents we sure do get pushed at times

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  • These are so Logical. Thanks for sharing

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  • ohh these are great i had no idea it has this out come

    Reply

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