Words can have a lasting impact on the minds of kids, especially when it is spoken by the parents. Their words can remain in their memory for a very long time. This impact can either be positive or negative such as words of wisdom and affection can guide us and make us feel good, while words of disdain and anger can make a child doubt themselves for years on end. Something as simple as a common and innocent phrase could actually destroy a kid’s self-esteem leaving them with feelings of insecurity.

So, here are 12 phrases parent should avoid saying to their kids at all costs:

1 “Great job!” or “I’m so proud of you”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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Among things never to say to kids, instead of telling your kid something like “I’m so proud of you” or “great job” tell them this- “You must be proud of your work” or “You solved that puzzle so fast!” If parents go on praising their kids for each and every little thing they do such as from drawing a picture to finishing their dinner, eventually the praise will lose all meaning. It would be much better to praise them for a few specific things so as to encourage them to be self-critical and proud of themselves when they have actually accomplished something that was worth their parent’s praise.

2 “Wait till your dad/mom comes back home!”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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It would be better to tell your kid something like- “Please don’t do that again. It makes me feel upset because..” when they do something wrong. If you tell them to wait till their dad or mom gets home it would only mean that you’re postponing the consequences of their wrong doing or misbehavior. There is a high chance that by the time the other parent returns back home the kid might have already forgotten what they did to make you upset. Also, you might turn the other parent into the bad guy by frightening your child with them and this could even diminish your own authority. Try solving your problem yourself and make sure to explain to your child, why is it that you are displeased with their behavior.

3 “How was your day?”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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Ask your child this- “What was the best part of your day?” instead of “how was your day?” because this phrase is more like an empty question which will get you one or two word long reply. Asking your child specific questions about how their day went encourages longer and more detailed answers.

4 “No desserts until you finish your meal”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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One of the things never to say to kids and saying this phrase can greatly diminish the value and joy of the meal in your child’s mind while increasing the craving for the dessert. It would be better to tell them something like this “first we eat the soup, and then we eat the dessert. In doing so, you instill an order in which both meal and dessert should be eaten into your child.

5 “Hurry up!”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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Don’t try and rush your kid for anything as it puts stress on them to hurry and it even makes them fearful of being late or missing something. Instead try twisting the situation to make it appear fun by telling them “Let’s see who’s the first to put on their shoes and get out the door”. This will encourage them to do things faster and will make them feel more at ease in knowing that you too are in on this with them.

6 “Leave me alone!”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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Brushing your kid off with a rude remark such as “leave me alone!” is one of the things never to say to kids. It will make them count on you lesser and lesser as they will think that you’re always too busy to help or pay attention to them. Not getting enough support at childhood, will make them more emotionally detached and distant from their parents when they are older. If you actually are busy or occupied with something politely tell them- “Please give me a few minutes to finish this and then we’ll talk, alright?”

7 “Shame on you!”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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“Shame on you!” is more of an empty, especially if your child is still too small to understand what shame really is. It really will be useless to utter such words since it won’t exactly make your child understand what he or she did wrong. Some studies even conclude that shaming your child can make them more aggressive and violent. It would be preferable to explain to your child what they did wrong and why should they avoid doing the same in the future. Tell them this- “The thing you did upsets me because…”

8 “Don’t cry!”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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Even if the reason why your child is crying seems trivial to you, you should keep in mind that crying is normal. By telling them not to cry, you end up diminishing their feelings which makes them feel that their emotions aren’t important at all. Showing concern when they burst out into tears is a much better way to connect with and support your child. So the next time when they cry ask them this- “What happened?” or “What made you so upset?”

9 “There’s nothing to be afraid of!”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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Telling your child that there is nothing to be afraid of doesn’t provide any sense of relief or comfort to your child if they are already scared of something. Instead, it gives them the message that their feelings are stupid and don’t count. Try discussing their fears and what caused them to be afraid of such and such. Empathize with their feelings by saying- “I see that you are afraid, but I’m here with you”

10 “Because I said so!”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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Among things never to say to kids, telling your child to stop or start doing something because you said so, really doesn’t make any sense to them at all. It will only make them feel prisoner to you and like they have no rights. Explaining it to them like this- “It’s time to turn off the TV and start doing your homework” would make it simpler for them to understand the reason behind your instructions and words.

11 “I could do that when I was your age!”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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Every child is unique and develops differently. So, it’s never a good idea to compare them to other kids or even to yourself when you were a kid. Try teaching them to do something if they can’t by telling them- “let me teach you how to do it!”

12 “I’m disappointed in you!”

Phrases That Harmful To Your Kid

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Telling your child that you’re disappointed in them will make them think that they are nothing but a disappointment to you and that they aren’t able to meet your expectations. Explain how their actions really made you feel without using word like “disappoint”. Start with- “The thing you did made me feel upset because…”