7 Things We All Say to our Kids but Shouldn’t

7 Things we say to our kids but shouldn't.
What we say means more then we realize.

1. You’re Okay

Your little one falls down and starts to cry. After quickly checking them over, you say, “Hey, you’re okay.” Even though it’s said with the best of intentions, to make our children feel better, we may actually be causing them to feel worse. Your kid’s not crying because everything is all right, they are scared and hurt; it’s not okay. We’re discounting their feelings instead of acknowledging them.

What you should say instead:

validate their feelings first, and then explain why the situation is not as bad as it might seem. “I bet it was really scary when you fell off your bike, but you’re not bleeding and nothing is broken so it will feel better soon. In the meantime, would you like to snuggle and put some ice on it?”

2. Practice Makes Perfect

Telling your child that practicing will make them perfect may be setting them up for feelings of failure. They could practice for months, and only improve a little. They may begin to question themselves, “I have practiced so hard, but I am not perfect, what is wrong with me?”

What you should say instead:

Practicing will help you improve your ability to do something. It’s absolutely okay to encourage a child to pursue their dreams of becoming better. However, telling them they can become perfect might be setting them up for failure. Instead, you should encourage them to take pride in the small accomplishments they make towards their ultimate goal. “You scored three goals today; that’s better than the one you scored last time, practicing has helped!” They might not have scored every goal, but they should be proud of what they did accomplish, even if it’s not perfection.

3. I’ll Do It

How many times have you jumped in and helped your little one complete a task more quickly? If we’re being honest, how many times have you done that to adults as well? It’s natural to want to help someone you think is struggling, especially when you know you could do it better. However, doing this constantly to your child will only teach them to be dependent upon other people, and gives the impression that they cannot do anything right on their own.

What you should say instead:

Nothing. Allow them to complete the task on their own, but be available WHEN they ask you for help. Even then, you should gently offer directions and advice, but allow them to do it themselves.

4. Good Job/Girl/Boy

We all say this to our children, and we all think we are encouraging them when we do say it, but experts are now suggesting that we may actually be hindering our kids’ success. Some believe that when a parent is quick to pass out praises, our children become dependent on our opinion rather than gauging their own success. The more we tell them how great they are, the less they believe it. Children are smart, and they’ll quickly realize that you’re just telling them that they’re good at something, even if they’re not that amazing.

What you should say instead:

Try to stay away from generic praises such as great job, or good girl! What you should do instead is point out why they did great. “That picture is beautiful; I love your choice of colors for the sky!” is a good example of how you could point out why you think they did great. “You played a good game today; I really enjoyed watching you pass the ball to your teammates, that was awesome!”

The point is to tell them what they did well, and allow them to set a goal to better themselves in the future. It also shows that you’re actually paying attention, rather than just absentmindedly telling them good job.

5. You’re (Adjective)

Telling your child they’re lazy is obviously not a good idea, but how many times have you told them (or someone else) they were klutzy? You know you’re not saying it in mean spirits, but labeling a child in any way can have negative effects, and those effects can last for a long time. Children hear those words, and they stick with them. They believe it to be true and live their lives with the notion that they’re the klutzy one of the family.

What you should say instead:

Whenever possible, try not to put labels on your child. Don’t tell people that Susie is your “shy” one, because now Susie is going to believe it and have a difficult time in social situations. Instead, try addressing the specific behaviors that led you to believe Susie was shy.

6. I’m on a Diet

When a child sees you struggling with your body image, it sends them a signal that they should do the same. Children don’t understand the complex difference between being an adult and being a kid. If they see adults agonizing about their weight, they’ll begin to worry as well.

What should you say instead:

Instead of saying, “because I don’t want to get fat” or “I’m on a diet,” you could say, “Eating good helps me stay fit, and I like the way I feel when I am healthy.”

7. Because I Said So!

Who didn’t hate it when their parents said it? Well, our kids feel the same way. The reason why is simple, it’s frustrating when someone tells you that you cannot do something, but doesn’t give you an explanation.

What you should say instead:

When your child says,“Why”give them the reasoning behind your decision. Even if it is the hundredth time they have said it today.






I am a Mumma Bugg! I am hard working, love my family more then anything on earth, and not a bad writer. If you want to know more, check out my blog!

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: