What not to say to your child

What you better not say to your child

You know? Especially when your partner is not at home your children behave monstrously. After several warnings you lose your patience and shout; just wait until Daddy gets home!

Out of frustration, powerlessness or just out of habit, you sometimes say certain things to your child. Still

there are some things you shouldn’t say to your child. Let me give you some examples and tips.


Become a parent they said, it will be fun they said

From the moment you become a mother the whole parenting thing starts. Where as a baby it’s still mainly about caring and loving, parenting issues soon arise. As children grow up, your brain, patience and resourcefulness are tested more and more.

You are actually raising a little person and you hope to have some fun while doing it.

This parenting naturally brings some frustrations as well. Children who do not listen, who search for their limits, which you then have to set again. But also letting go of your little (b)angels and hoping for a happy ending.

In this whole process, of course, habits creep in here and there. Habits that don’t have to be a problem at all but with which you sometimes unconsciously “cause” or “trigger” what was not your intention at all. For example, here are some things that (almost) every parent yells at one time or another but is better off not saying to your child.

What you better not say to your child

Something I learned from my training in SPH (Social Pedagogical Assistance) is that it is important never to judge a child on its behavior. My youngest is quite an enterprising and mischievous lady. She is wonderfully toddlerpubing and that often leads to situations’s where I would rather shout how naughty she is. Here I always have to count to ten because she IS not naughty, but DOES naughty. (otherwise, of course, she is also incredibly sweet and cute ;))
Never tell a child that they are weird, naughty, annoying or anything like that. If you repeat that often enough, a child will seriously think it is naughty and behave like that more and more. Which, of course, is exactly what you don’t want.

So always try to name the behavior.

Wait until mommy/daddy gets home!

Over the years, the division of tasks in the family has generally changed a lot. Where once in almost every family, dad worked all day and mom took care of the kids, that’s now regularly very different. It used to be normal for the father of the house to punish the children when necessary. Fortunately, times have changed and we expect a child to respect both parents/educators.

However, you lose this respect a bit when you shift the responsibility by yelling at your child to ‘be afraid of the other parent’.

I have such a fat ass. I really look like shit.

I too regularly stand like this in front of the mirror. M’s clothes do not fit, I have a pimple, m’s belly is too fat, I am too white, and I could go on and on. I am sure many mothers think similar things.

However, never say this out loud in front of your kids. Children see mom as their role model, they look up to you, want to become like mom and in some cases even want to marry you. You are on a pedestal. Don’t kick that pedestal away from them!

When you criticize your own body, you not only denigrate someone your children love immensely but you also teach them that they should not love their own bodies.

What you better not say to your child

Yup, here I am mega guilty! I regularly shout at the eldest that he should not tease his sister. Not with your shoes on the couch. Don’t pull the cat’s tail. Do not play with your food.

Do not, do not, do not. Nine times out of ten this also has no effect at all. And that is actually not so strange when you consider that children only hear the last words of your sentence. The whole word ‘not’ they are allergic to it so they don’t hear it either.

Name the behavior you do want to see. Take off your shoes, pet the cat on its back, eat your food with your fork, etc. This is super difficult but I assure you it has more effect than constantly ‘don’t’ shouting.

Nobody’s perfect

Just because you shouldn’t say all these things to your child doesn’t mean I’m all-knowing and doing it all right here. I too am just a mother doing her best to raise independent, fine children and I too make as many mistakes as anyone else. Nobody’s perfect, but get out what you can and do your best!

Are there things you recognize? Or do you know more things you’d better not say to your child? Let me know!