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What Not to Say to Kids

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What Not to Say to Kids

There are the obvious things you should never, under any circumstances …no matter how extreme, utter to your child. Things like, “I wish you were never born,” “I hate you,” “No one likes you,” and “You killed Santa.” If you are a reader of the Care2 website and reading this particular article, you have likely never uttered such offensive and damaging remarks to anyone (at least anyone over the age of 21). Then there are the things we may, on occasion and out of dire parental frustration, say to our children. These are comments, not meant to be cutting and subversive, but nevertheless they are. Recently Shine from Yahoo compiled 5 things parents just shouldn’t say to their children and they are as follows:

“I’m going to leave without you!”
“Say you’re sorry!”
“Act your age!”
“Don’t you get it?”
“I don’t care.”

Just reading these out loud you are likely struck by two thoughts: one is “I think I understand why these are not positive and constructive things to say to a child, and “I think I have probably said these to my child, on occasion.” Not to worry, unless you routinely greet your child in the early morning with “I don’t care” or “I’m going to leave without you!” there is likely time to reverse the damage from whatever had been said in the past. While children are highly impressionable, they are also resilient and sometimes even forgiving.

But 5 is never enough. I do believe there are other utterances that should never (or seldom) be directed toward children and here are my additions to the list:

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Read more: Babies, Blogs, Caregiving, Children, Family, Love, Mental Wellness, Parenting at the Crossroads, Relationships, Stress, Teens, , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


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5:05AM PDT on Jun 15, 2013

One day my mom said that I had no dignity because I was going out and my hair just didn't look good enough. EW.

8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Words that scar and do damage are not to be used, think back of the nasty things that some parents may have said to you when you were growing up. Do you use the same words when angry? I was lucky enough to have parents that did not verbally abuse me when my behaviour was somewhat naughty.

There are some parents who use words that are totally unacceptable and of course some who could care less about what the effects are. They forget that young children do take things quite literally. Admonishing a child while being firm, corrective and guiding can be done without cruel comments.

Anger can bring out our negative side but try to think first before saying things like "I wish you had never been born!" and things like that.

5:09PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Wow black pedagogy... sends shivers down my back, thanks for posting!

7:32PM PDT on May 10, 2012

thanks, there are obvious things, but sometimes we don't pay attention

9:50PM PDT on May 9, 2012

This article is really helpful for me. Hope that I can keep these things in mind when I'm older and have children.

6:27PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Thank you

2:51PM PDT on May 9, 2012


10:58AM PDT on May 9, 2012


8:43AM PDT on May 8, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

8:23AM PDT on May 8, 2012

thanks this is a key issue!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Interesting. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Well, I'm a blubbering, cooing mess!

Yes I knew there was a definition. As there is for many different food products with specific recipe…

Cute, but only for cats. Please don't try to emulate.

Thanks for sharing.


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