The Importance of the Language We Use With Our Family

Today we'll reflect on the importance of being careful with the language we use with our family and its impact on our relationships. We'll also offer some tips that you can put into practice.
The Importance of the Language We Use With Our Family

Last update: 13 October, 2018

The language we use with our family is extremely important. The way we communicate with our children and relatives is part of what makes up our home.

This type of language has great importance in the daily lives of all our family members. And to a great extent, it determines the type of relationships we have both today and in the future.

Why is the language we use with our family so important?

If parents call their children “stupid”, “cry baby”, “clumsy”, etc, this is a form of mistreatment. Whether or not a child has made a mistakethese types of put downs are completely uncalled for. What’s more, they do nothing to help the child – in fact, just the opposite is true.

The same occurs in the communication we have with our partners. Constantly criticizing our partners in front of our children is unhealthy for our families. This is true even if both parties are laughing

Interpersonal relationships become tense when we use negative insults like “stupid”, “dumb”, “idiot”, “lazy”, and the like. This is true no matter what your tone or intention.

And while it may seem like something frivolous, it actually has a major impact on the emotional health of the entire family. 

“In our homes, the language we use is often not the most respectful, nor is it the most affectionate”

Quality language within the family circle

Let’s stop for a minute and think. Do we really need to criticize our children every time we talk to them? What good does it do to call them names, make fun of them or otherwise degrade them? All we do is cause harm and shame. Degrading is not the proper way to educate anyone.

The Importance of the Language We Use With Our Family

Verbal punishment does nothing to really improve our lives. On the contrary, it only inspires fear, drowns our loved ones in insecurity, and forms a gap in relationships from a young age. Even if this isn’t noticeable at first sight, it still occurs.

The language we use with our family shouldn’t include insults – not even in jest. Our words and attitudes should be based on affection, building each other up, and helping one another reach their full potential.

No one is born knowing everything, and we all need affection. This is especially true when we’re receiving guidance or correction in something that’s difficult for us. 

“We need to be careful with the language we use with our family. It has a major influence on our relationships and greatly determines what tomorrow will be like”

Sarcasm and words with double meanings like “little devil” or “little rascal” carry an implicit negative meaning. Unconsciously, children receive a mixed message. On the one hand, parents are criticizing their children, but at the same time, they seem to want to make it endearing.

Pejorative language does nothing but damage

We should never allow put downs to become a way of life or define the way we raise our children. 

Of course, no human being is perfect and it can often be hard to manage our emotions in certain contexts. However, we can all improve. In other words, we’re all capable of improving for the good of others.

Derogatory or pejorative language can make unpleasant situations even worse. Rather than helping, it only does more damage. It promotes insult, prejudice, discrimination, rivalry, conflict and general wear.

If children pick up vocabulary based on this type of language, they’ll have issues with those around them. They’ll interact in an inappropriate way, making it hard for them to make friends and get along with others.

In this case, it’s important to know how to correct it as soon as possible and provide a good example. There’s no point in scolding children for using a bad word or expression if we ourselves use them in their presence. We need to pay attention to our own actions.

Tips for good use of language with our family

In the first place, you should avoid misusing language within your family circle. Stay away from insults, threats and other forms of verbal punishment or mistreatment. 

However, if the use of poor language has already occurred, there’s still hope. Apply the following strategies and maintain them over time.

Of course, if you find them difficult or aren’t getting results, we recommend you consult with a family psychologist or counselor

Both professionals have the knowledge to better guide you in the process and provide useful tools. With their help, you’ll be able to reach your desired objective.

The Importance of the Language We Use With Our Family

For proper use of language within your family circle, the following steps are necessary:

  • Eliminate all put downs immediately. This includes with your partner, your children, and anyone else. Each time you feel the impulse to say something negative, you should stop right away. Think about the consequences that your words would have on your family.
  • Learn to take a deep breath before speaking. This may sound like a cliché, but it really is a powerful tool if you learn to use it in your daily encounters.
  • Make a point of replacing negative expressions with affection. You don’t have to be sappy, but it’s important to get used to expressing positive emotions and feelings. This will benefit your entire family, including yourself.
  • Remember that, if we practice cruel or negative language with our families, our children will have a negative view of us as parents. In some way or another, this will cause a drift between you and your loved ones.
  • Know how to recognize your own mistakes and weaknesses. Take responsibility for your actions and ask for forgivenessDo these things as often as necessary to create a more healthy environment within your home. Your example will surely have a positive effect on your partner and children.

Remember that it’s very important to make use of positive language in your home. Not only will you be providing a positive example in regards to interpersonal relationships, but you’ll also be contributing to your family’s well-being.

From an early age, you’ll allow your children to grow and develop in a happy and healthy way.


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.

  • Bojorge-Martínez, A. E. (2016). Los patrones de comunicación familiar y su impacto en la promoción de la dieta correcta y la activación física en la adolescencia. Tesis de Maestría, Maestría en Comunicación de la Ciencia y la Cultura. Tlaquepaque, Jalisco: ITESO.
  • Koerner, A., & Fitzpatrick, M.A. (2002). Toward a Theory of Family Communication. Communication Theory, 12, 70 – 91.
  • Tapia, M. (2008). La Comunicación Familiar: Definición, Teorías y Esquemas. Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Universidad de Navarra. Pamplona: España
  • Suarez, O., & Moreno, J. (2002). La familia como eje fundamental en la formación de valores en el niño. Carabobo: Universidad de Carabobo.

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