Some things are best left unsaid, and this has never been truer when you have kids – take it from us! Our children are perceptive little beasts. Everything you do say to them can have an effect upon their development into functioning adults. Based on experience, trial and error, and everything in between, here’s our advice for parents on ten things you should absolutely avoid saying to your kids.

“You Need to Try Harder!”

It can be frustrating if your kids aren’t getting the grades, but putting them down makes things worse. We’re not suggesting you wrap them up in cotton wool, but positive reinforcement will help them to bounce back from failure in later life. Imposing expectations is quite unhealthy, but it can be avoided!

“I Hate (Insert School Subject Here)!”

Some of the best advice for parents revolves around setting a good example. Our kids look up to us for a lot! By sharing your misgivings about certain subjects or themes, you could be rubbing off on your children for the worse. Avoid sharing your opinion on topics such as math and help them to find their own way.

“I’ll Disown You!”

Yes, this is an old one, but it’s worth looking at under a sharp lens. Think about how your kids feel when they hear this – seriously? You’ll disown them for doing something slightly out of line? It’s overly dramatic, and it encourages your kids to keep secrets. It also tells your kids that they can’t talk to you about anything, and that’s unhealthy.

“It’s Not a Big Deal.”

Parents will know already that you can probably get away with saying this but in the right context and tone. Dismissing your kids’ worries can lead to resentment on their part, which again, is fairly unhealthy. There’s a difference here between dealing with tantrums and helping your kids to stop worrying.

Anything Sarcastic

Sarcasm doesn’t really work with kids, and let’s face it, using it with them at all is a bit of a low blow. Children are positioned to believe the majority of what they are told and to follow by example. The wrong sarcastic phrase or intonation can come across as insulting or even harsh. Therefore, it’s probably best you avoid it altogether.

“Why Aren’t You Like (XXX)?”

Rule number one of dealing with your kids’ peers – do not compare them. It’s fairly PC to say ‘all children are different and should be encouraged as such,’ but let’s stick to the facts. Our kids hate to be compared, and so do we. We spend our whole lives living up to expectation, and you can nip this in the bud early as a parent. This is perhaps some of the most reliable advice for parents we can offer.

The Word ‘Hate’

Yes, as parents, we’ve all reached the end of our rope. It’s very easy to let emotion take over sometimes, but we need to be very careful about what we say in the heat of the moment. Never use ‘hate’ in a context where you are talking about your children’s behavior! Take a deep breath, and take control of the situation with language that’s clear, but not borderline abusive.

“You’re Perfect!” or “Why Aren’t You Perfect?”

As much as negativity can be detrimental to your kids’ development, so can high praise. Putting your kids on too high a pedestal can not only set them up for a fall but can also have a huge effect on their self-esteem. Whether you expect them to be perfect or tell them they can do no wrong, you’re sowing some dangerous seeds.

“You Don’t Mean That”

We all know that our kids can say things about people and concepts without filter, and often with intense emotion. If they say something negative about themselves, or someone else, it’s tempting to tell them how they feel. The best thing to do here, instead, is to explore why your son or daughter feels the way they do. Ask them some questions! 

“Practice Makes Perfect”

Sure, practice can make perfect sometimes, but this is a phrase that encourages hours of toil over something that your child just might not want to do. Having seen kids be put through the wringer with this – please don’t impose hobbies on your kids. They shouldn’t have to perform ballet or play softball if they don’t want to. Find something your kids enjoy doing and can thrive in for years to come.

As we all know, kids grow up so quickly, so avoid saying these ten things to them and you will find as they grow up, they will also do the same to their kids and so on!

Want to have more bonding time with your kids before they grow up? Check out these awesome activities you can do together!!