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10 Things You Usually Say or Do That Can Hurt Your Children

Updated on July 20, 2018
ThatWallflowerJen profile image

Jenny is a twenty-something-year-old who loves writing novels, poems and articles about her experiences in life.


Being a parent is one of the world's most challenging yet most fulfilling jobs. It would bring you so much joy together with the hardships of what family life has to offer. It can be really stressful and sometimes you would not be able to monitor how your words and behavior can affect your children. So here are 10 of the things that parents usually say or do (intentionally or not) that can absolutely hurt their children's feelings and well-being and hopefully it can help you be better parents to your little ones.

1. Comparing your children to other kids or siblings

"Your brother is so much smarter than you." "Your sister is so much prettier than you." "If you can just be as nice as the neighbor's daughter..." "Look at that kid, if you can just be like that." These are basically some of the hardest things to hear from your parents. If you are a parent yourself, please know that these things can really make your children feel bad about themselves. They could easily feel that they are not enough and you would rather like to have the kid you are comparing them to.


2. Telling your kids that they are worthless

Telling your kids that they are "worthless" is basically telling them you don't like them around because they are useless. So, please be mindful of your words because some of them can really scar a child's feelings and mind. It can change their perception of themselves and can result to low self-esteem. It would also limit their expectations of how much they can fulfill not just at home but also in their life in general when they get older. They may settle for less than what they can be because that is what they're childhood had formatted them to believe.


3. Ignoring your kid's achievements

Every parent is proud of their kid's achievements but sometimes they may not notice some of them, especially the small things. And as we know kids, small things for us can be the world to them. That is why we should commend them for even the tiniest things. Just a simple "Good job" will do for their small precious hearts. And also let's avoid over judging them for the smallest mistakes because that could hurt them too. They are kids, let's cherish them with gentleness, kindness and respect, so they can also share that to the world.


4. Telling your kids that they'd be better if they are "more" this and that

"If you can just be a little taller..." "If your nose is a little smaller..." "If only you can be more manly..." "If you can be a little skinnier..." These words lessen your kids' worth on your their heads. These could make them feel that they are less than what they should be and they should change themselves to be good and acceptable in their parents' eyes. They would feel that a perfect child model exists and would unconsciously work towards being that growing up. Judging your kid in such a way would also make them think that it is okay to judge other kids or people for what they look like, how they move and how they present themselves.


5. Telling your kids that they've never done anything good

Telling your kids that they've never done anything good their whole lives could limit their ability of performing tasks. They would be scared of making mistakes and of being scolded again. A lot could be affected by this such as their confidence, reliance and limit their chance of discovering their interests and potentials. It is absolutely acceptable for parents to discipline their child and tell them when they do something wrong but choosing the words that they would use can definitely have a different effect in their child's perception of how to act.


6. Telling them 'no' without giving them any reason why

Kids would often ask for things or ask permission for something they want you or them to do. Every parent would always have the intention of giving their children what they want but sometimes it can be wrong, harmful or impossible to do. It is fine to tell them 'no' but please know that it is also important to provide them the reason why. Children may not sometimes understand but most of them will and it would be easier for them to accept your reservations. It will also widen their understanding of what's right and wrong, possible and not possible, and what is bad or good for them.


7. Telling them that you're tired of them or of being their parent

One of the hardest words to hear from parents is that they are tired of their kids or somewhat regretful of their presence. Of course, most parents don't mean these words when they say them, but that is why you need to be more mindful of the words you choose to utter in front of your children. Some words that don't mean much to you can have the biggest weight on them. Kids value their parents' view of them and any sign of regret or doubt can make them question their value in the family as well.


8. Talking bad about them in front of other people

Bad-mouthing kids is bad enough, bad mouthing them in front of other people can have absolute worst effect on your children. They would not only feel bad about themselves but they would also feel extreme shame that would take a toll on their confidence and how they interact with other people, making them shy and unapproachable. Some parents would not even notice doing this to their kids sometimes. They may be just talking to their friends and catching up with life as well as each other's children but sometimes they would share the kids' mistakes, shortcomings and even the shameful information that the kids would not want other people to know. It would be extremely uncomfortable to the children especially when they hear it happening themselves. Let's be more responsible of our children's feelings because this is also part of their well-being that would shape their characters growing-up.


9. Telling them that they would be the cause of your death

"Cause of death" or "the death of me" are just a usual phrases adults use but telling these to kids can be so tricky. They tend to take everything literally and that is why you need to choose your words carefully. Life can be stressing for sure especially when you have kids to care about but make sure your rants don't hurt your children. Your kids love you and values you more than anyone in the world, for that, it is important to avoid telling them that they can cause you harm.


10. Forcing them to fulfill dreams that they are not interested in

Interests and dreams can be discovered by children even in their very young ages. Most of them can already have their favorite things like sports, TV shows, movies, games and can even know their future aspirations. Parents can also contribute to their children's interests and they can instill some of their interests to them as well. But some parents may tend to sway their kids too much. Some may want they children to be doctors that is why they make their children study too hard or want they children to play the parent's favorite sport even though the kids have other things they want to do. The intentions may always be great but the effects may be more negative than we expect. One of the best traits of being an effective parent is being supportive of their child's dreams. Telling them to walk away from those can lessen their sense of satisfaction about themselves especially if it is something they enjoy and excel on. Surely, parents know best but the kids know better in knowing what would make them happy.


Share Your Opinion!

Which of the following do you think is the worst thing to do to children?

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© 2018 ThatWallflowerJen


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