Does your mother hurt you mentally?

24 sentences you shouldn't say to your child

Content checked by teacher Janett Scheck.

Children can sometimes drive their parents really mad. In this article you will find out why you should still keep a grip on your tongue and which sentences you should never say to your child. There are also tips on how to use words to make your child strong.

Clearly, in the heat of the moment, most parents slip out one or the other careless word. Because we're only human too. Especially when we are desperate and stressed, the tongue is sometimes faster than the head.

Unfortunately, our words are more powerful than most parents know. Because we are the people on whose judgment the child relies. And a child's brain remembers a lot that an adult brain has long since forgotten. Sometimes for a lifetime. Many verbal violations by the parents cause the child's self-esteem to decline more and more.

Most of the idioms come very deeply from our subconscious and are a mirror of how we grew up ourselves. It is therefore important that you make it clear which package you are carrying around with you yourself. Because this is the only way to prevent you from passing this legacy on to your child.

Fortunately, communication that does not hurt the child can be practiced. In the case of slips, an honest apology can fill up some small cracks in the child's soul.

You will now find out what certain formulations can do to your child and what you can say instead.

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Requests to suppress feelings

1. Stop crying!

Bad enough that the child is sick. Now it is not even allowed to show its feelings. We actually know that it won't get any better, right?

Depending on the situation, it would probably be better to ask the serious question why it feels this way or something like “I can see that you are not feeling well. I can't give you chocolate now, but I can squeeze you very tightly until you feel better? "

2. An Indian knows no pain.

Similar to the example above, this old phrase is supposed to make the child hard and silence them. But actually he only learns from such sentences that it is wrong to show how he is really doing and to listen to his body.

Try it with: “Did you hurt yourself? Would you like a cooling pad or should I just hold you in my arms? "

3. What, are you afraid of that?

Many children are at times afraid of certain things. Leonie doesn't like helicopters, Paul suspects a humming monster under the bed and Lara is terrified of dogs. Instead of making fun of it, we should take the fears seriously, no matter how absurd they may seem to us. Because this is the only way for the child to feel secure and at some point to overcome their fear.

Better: “Does that scare you? I know the feeling. I'm with you, nothing can happen to you. "

Other things are always more important than the child

4. I don't have time.

The fact as such is of course okay. The important thing is how we tell the child that it just doesn't work. Because children quickly get the impression that they are less important than anything else in the life of their parents.

So how about, instead, “I have to finish XY. Then we play together. ”?

5. I don't feel like playing with you.

Parents don't always have to feel like playing, that's perfectly fine. In order not to hurt the child, firstly this should not happen all the time and secondly it should be reformulated so that the child understands the reason.

Our suggestion: “I'm just totally exhausted and tired from work. Come on, let's cuddle a little on the couch. Afterwards we play another half an hour before going to bed. "

Unfair generalizations

6. You always leave everything lying around.

The little words always and never are so firmly anchored in the vocabulary of some parents that they don't even notice how mean this type of statement actually is. Because nobody "always" does something. The problem is that our brains are programmed to perceive negative behavior much more strongly than positive ones. We overlook the fact that a son or daughter voluntarily cleared everything away only a few days ago, because it is "right". As a result, the child gets a stamp and will eventually adapt to the image that we had of him before. After all, what good is it if one's efforts are not noticed anyway.

Our tip: Put it positively: “You recently cleaned up so nicely. That helped me alot. Can you do that more often? "

7. You never stop what I say.

Same as above. “Never” definitely does not apply. So you'd better get the word out of your vocabulary right away. In such situations you are certainly strained and annoyed and would like a child who at that moment just does what you want. You can of course also say that, but always only in relation to the respective situation and if possible packaged in a first-person message.

For example, "I want you to listen to me when I say that you should stop at the corner. It is dangerous to just drive on the street and I am afraid for you. "

Charge guilt

8. You are so ungrateful.

His own birth is not a fault that you should impose on the child. Children don't have to be constantly grateful to their parents for raising them. Because that is their parental duty. Also, disobedience and the like has nothing to do with whether or not a child is fond of their parents. Usually these are normal and important phases on the way to growing up.

Better: Consciously perceive and acknowledge the situations in which your child has cooperated with you. Because there are sure to be. So, “You helped me a lot the other day when you did XY…. I have so much on my mind right now. Could you XYZ? ”.

9. It is your own fault.

A child simply cannot foresee or assess many things as we do. These skills only develop over the years. To make him feel guilty about it is pretty unfair.

Better: comfort and encourage courage, e.g. like "Oh, have you pounded? That is definitely uncomfortable. You know what, next time you'll just go to the bathroom again before we go out, okay? "

10. It is your fault that I feel bad.

This sentence does something to the child. Even if you felt better when you never had a child, you should never say such a thing. Because the child is what it is. And it cannot help that it is in the world. Such guilt digs deep and will damage self-confidence in the long run.

There is no recommendation for this. Just let it be and rethink your own attitude.

Self-fulfilling prophecies

11. You're about to fall down there.

We know all too well that as a parent you see things in your mind's eye that have not yet happened. Yes, it may well be that the child slips off immediately. But the likelihood increases if you talk him into it beforehand.

Better: "Hold on tight! You can do it.".

12. You can't do that.

This sentence robs the child of all courage to master it. And if it hears such statements often, at some point it will not try anything new if it fails anyway.

Better: "Give it a try, maybe it will work."


13. Your sister / brother can do that too.

Each child develops differently, each has different strengths and weaknesses. Comparing a child with others creates a rivalry that is not healthy for the sibling relationship. In addition, it devalues ​​the child who takes longer in one thing than the other. Something like that.

Our tip: Don't play the siblings against each other, but emphasize the things that connect them. Then your child will always have a boyfriend by their side later on.

14. Why aren't you like XY?

Every child deserves to be perceived and loved as an independent person. Regardless of whether it can do something or not yet. If Emil doesn't like to play quietly in the corner like Anton, that's just the way it is. On the other hand, he can perhaps climb incredibly well, while Anton gives up after just a few centimeters.

Better: “XY is not working really well yet, is it? It doesn't matter, soon you can too. "

15. You are just like your father / mother.

This sentence violates on several levels. The child feels bad without being able to do anything about it:

1. The sentence puts one of the most important caregivers in a bad light. That hurts, because after all, the child wants to be proud of both parents.

2. The sentence blames the child for his parentage.

3. If the child starts to believe in it, it has no chance of developing any other way.

Our tip: just let it stay and concentrate consciously on the positive characteristics of your partner (or ex-partner) and of course your child.

Disparaging beliefs (or spell messages)

16. You are so clumsy.

If a child keeps hearing that they are clumsy, they will grow into that role. It will also make itself small later and firmly believe that it is the greatest clumsy man on earth and therefore does not even try to become more skillful.

Our tip: “Didn't work? Never mind. Just try it until you can do it. "

17. You really can't do anything right.

As above, this sentence burns itself deeply into the subconscious. What is to become of a child who has been persuaded that it is no good? Don't we actually want to raise self-confident children who can later stand up for themselves?

Better: “You are a great girl / a great boy, even if everything doesn't always work as you want it to. Look how good you did XY earlier. ".

18. How hard can that be. Come on.

As above. The poor child gets smaller and smaller inside when he hears such sentences.

Try it with: “You seem to have a hard time with that. Do we want to try it again together? "

19. How can you be so stupid.

As above.

Better: “Doesn't work? Never mind, definitely next time! "

20. I told you you couldn't do that.

This statement is perfect for permanently discouraging your child. We want children who like to try out new things in order to grow, right?

Better: “It didn't work out today. But if you practice, it will surely work out soon. "

21. Math is just not your thing.

Realizing that one thing doesn't suit you is great for resting, isn't it? "I'm a zero in math anyway, so why should I make an effort?" Of course, it is possible that the strengths lie elsewhere. But if you label your child at an early age, it has no chance of turning it around.

Better: “Is this difficult for you? Come on, let's practice together. "

Withdrawal of love / stir up fears

22. When Dad comes home, you can experience something.

Using the other parent's upbringing as leverage is rather unpleasant. For one thing, it doesn't solve the actual problem, it just postpones it. On the other hand, it stirs up a diffuse fear in the child that is completely unnecessary.

Our tip: As parents, agree on a common line and above all on which behavior has which consequences. Then it does the same thing.

23. If you don't stop, I'll go.

Spatial separation during an argument is sometimes a good idea. However, it is only a matter of going to another room to calm down and be able to think clearly again. Threatening the child to leave, however, arouses primal fears. Because after all, the child is defenseless without you. Some children cannot overcome their fear of loss for a lifetime.

Better: “I need a few minutes to breathe deeply. Then I'll come back and we can talk about anything. "

24. I don't love you anymore.

When you're angry, you say rash things. In addition to leaving, the worst thing for a child is the fear that the parents will no longer love it. Never say something like that, because I'm sure you don't mean it at all.

Try this: “I'm pretty angry right now. I will now take a few deep breaths until the anger is gone. "

Do you have any other ideas how we can make children strong? Then write us a comment!

About the author: Anke is a qualified computer scientist and has been with Babelli since 2017. Her passion: unraveling complicated medical content and making it understandable. That is why she is our medical editor for pregnancy and breastfeeding. When she's not tackling the next exciting topic for us, she has her hands full as the favorite mom of a pug-loving daughter (5). She finds her inner balance at the latest when walking along the Havel.