Parents hold significant influence over their children’s lives, and their words can have a lasting impact. It is crucial for parents to choose their words carefully, as some statements can cause irreparable harm to their children’s self-esteem and mental health. Here are some things parents should never say to their kids:
1. “I Wish You Were More Like (Insert Sibling/Friend/Neighbor Here)”
Comparing children to others can lead to resentment, jealousy, and feelings of inadequacy. One commenter on the thread shared that their mother always compared them to their cousin, who was more successful in academics and sports. The constant comparison made the commenter feel like they were not good enough and damaged their self-confidence.
2. “You’re (Worthless/Useless/a Failure)”
Negative words can have a powerful impact on children. Such harsh words can stick with them for life, causing feelings of low self-worth and even leading to depression. A commenter shared how their father often told them they were stupid and would never amount to anything. These words made the commenter feel hopeless and unworthy of success.
3. “I Don’t Love You Anymore”
Love should be unconditional, and telling a child otherwise can be devastating. A commenter shared how their mother said this to them when they were a teenager, leading to a strained relationship that lasted for years. The commenter felt unloved and struggled with abandonment issues.
4. “You’re Too (Insert Negative Trait Here)”
Labeling children with negative traits can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. One commenter shared how their father always called them lazy, leading them to believe they were incapable of achieving anything. This caused them to lose motivation and struggle with laziness throughout their life.
5. “I Regret Having You”
Hearing that a parent regrets having them can cause a child to feel unwanted and unloved. One commenter shared how their mother told them this, causing them to feel like a burden and causing a rift in their relationship that never fully healed.
6. “You’re Too (Insert Positive Trait Here)”
While it may seem counterintuitive, even positive labels can have a negative impact. One commenter shared how their parents always called them “the smart one,” causing them to feel pressure to live up to this label and leading to anxiety and stress.
7. “I Wish I Never Had Kids”
Similar to expressing regret, telling a child that their parent wishes they never had them can cause emotional damage. One commenter shared how their father said this to them, causing them to feel like they were unwanted and causing lasting trauma.
8. “You’re Too Sensitive”
Telling a child that they are too sensitive can cause them to feel like their emotions are not valid. One commenter shared how their mother always told them this, causing them to suppress their emotions and struggle with anxiety and depression as an adult.
9. “I Don’t Care”
Expressing a lack of concern or interest in a child’s life can cause them to feel neglected and unimportant. One commenter shared how their father always dismissed their concerns, causing them to feel unheard and unimportant.
10. “You’re Just Like (Insert Negative Family Member Here)”
Comparing children to negative family members can cause them to feel like they are destined to fail or have negative traits. One commenter shared how their mother always compared them to their alcoholic uncle, causing them to feel like they were doomed to follow in his footsteps.