32 Phrases That You Should Never Say to Your Children

Do you want to know what phrases you should never say to your children? In this article, we'll give you a list of those you should avoid.
32 Phrases That You Should Never Say to Your Children

Last update: 23 September, 2021

There are phrases that you should never say to your children, regardless of their age. The fact of the matter is, your words are of great importance to them and can affect their personal development and self-esteem.

If you think that you use these comments often in order to make your kids react or obey, you’re making a mistake. In reality, by getting your children used to hearing them, all you do is damage their confidence.

Although it’s not always easy to hold back in certain situations, you need to know that by repeating these phrases, you’re only making matters worse.

Phrases that you should never say to your children

You may have heard many of these phrases countless times during your childhood and, therefore, today they’re part of your parenting guidelines.

In general, they come to light in situations that are overwhelming or stressful. Or, at other times, you may think that saying them is the only way to get your kids to do what you want.

A teenage girl plugging her ears while her mother yells at her.

The point is that you must identify them so that you never say them again. Therefore, we suggest you take note of the following list:

  1. “You’re being very bad.”
  2. “When I was your age...”.
  3. “Did you really do that yourself?”
  4. “You’re unbearable.”
  5. “Your brother doesn’t do those things. You should learn from him.”
  6. “Stop crying. Crying is for babies.”
  7. “I’m looking forward to the end of the vacation and you going back to school. I’m so sick of you.”
  8. “Just wait until your mother (or father) finds out about this.”
  9. “You’re stupid.”
  10. “You don’t know how to do anything right.”
  11. “Don’t run.”
  12. “I thought you were smarter.”
  13. “If you don’t do what I tell you, I’m going to punish you.”
  14. “Stay still”.
  15. “You’re just like your father or mother.”
  16. “Don’t scream”.
  17. “Don’t get on there.”
  18. “I’m so angry I don’t even want to see you.”
  19. “I’m going to hit/spank/ground/punish/etc. you”.
  20. “You don’t want to be left with no going to the park or going out.”
  21. “Dolls are for girls and cars are for boys.”
  22. “Don’t be a baby!”
  23. “Don’t cry, it’s not that big of a deal.”
  24. Be a man and do what you have to do!”
  25. “You’re very delicate and too sensitive.”
  26. “You’re bad”.
  27. “Look how clumsy you are.”
  28. “Don’t be silly.”
  29. “Girls (or boys) don’t do that.”
  30. “I wish I had never had children.”
  31. “Get out of here and leave me alone!”
  32. “Don’t speak.”
A mother scolding her child because he hasn't finished his homework.

Now that you have the list of phrases you should never say to your children, you can identify which ones you say frequently and kick the habit. If you’ve identified more than 5, you should know that you are negatively impacting the education of your children.

But don’t worry! Fortunately, there’s always time to change and improve the way you’re raising your kids.

What can you do to avoid saying negative phrases to your children?

In order to avoid saying these harmful phrases, parents must learn to express in a positive way what they want to say to their children. But how do you do it? Below, you’ll find some tips:

  • Identify the phrases and change them for better alternatives.
  • Realize what you say and how you say it.
  • Set boundaries in a positive way.
  • Develop empathy with your children.
  • Don’t feel guilty. If you use any of these phrases, then stop saying them.
  • Listen, be patient, and try to understand your child and their messages.

These recommendations can help you avoid negative phrases and promote your children’s personal development.

Regarding the phrases that you shouldn’t say to your children

To conclude, we hope that this list has helped you to identify the ones you use without realizing the damage they cause to your children. Of course, you’re not a bad mother or a bad father because of this, but it’s always a good time to improve.

Finally, remember that children only expect love, understanding, affection, and respect from their parents. Don’t break that trust with phrases that hurt them.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Milicic, N. (2013). Educando a los hijos con inteligencia emocional. Aguilar.
  • Elias, M. J. (2014). Educar con inteligencia emocional: Cómo conseguir que nuestros hijos hijos sean sociables, felices y responsables. Debolsillo editorial.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.