Five Things NOT to Say to Your Kids

Parenting is a frustrating job.  Raising good, healthy kids takes commitment, reinforcement and more reinforcement.  You have to constantly remind your kids about good behavior, what is and is not appropriate and what they can and can’t eat.  Parenting takes patience and self control.  It’s all too easy to lose your temper when reminding your children about their laundry on the floor for the umpteenth time.  When the going gets tough, keep in mind these Five Things NOT to say to your Kids….

“Don’t be a baby.”

Toddlers, preschool age and even elementary aged children have a hard time processing their feelings.  Toddlers often don’t have the vocabulary to accurately articulate their feelings, making self expression extremely frustrating when they feel upset.  When children feel sadness, fear or anger, they often react by crying.  Instead of brushing off their tears and telling them not to feel a certain way, or not to act like a “baby,” address their feelings.  Get down to their level and acknowledge what is bothering them.  Use phrases such as “You must be feeling sad because you have to share your toys,” or “it must be scary hearing such loud thunder.”  Kids are allowed to have irrational fears and lose their tempers, because they are still learning how to handle their emotions.

“Why can’t you be more like…”

When parents have more than one child, it’s natural to compare milestones and abilities. Don’t make these comparisons in front of your child, because you risk making them feel inadequate.  Kids need to feel confident being who they are, and they shouldn’t feel pressure to be like someone else.  Acknowledge your child’s accomplishments and do your best to comparisons to yourself.

“Let me do it!”

Most parents have busy schedules, and time is of the essence.  Many toddlers like to try to put their own shoes on, and they need extra time to get dressed.  It’s important to give your children the time they need to try and tie their shoes, or button their coat.  Give yourself plenty of time in the morning to avoid losing your temper and yelling “Let me do it!”  No parent wants to shatter the feelings of a child who is trying to master a skill.  Instead of rushing them, make a compromise.  Try “You’re working so hard tying your shoes.  Why don’t you work on the left one and I’ll work on the right.”  If you must step in, explain why you need to leave and let your child time you as you get them ready.  They will enjoy the game and you will get out the door faster.

“Good girl!” or “Good Boy!”

Praise is a wonderful motivator for kids.  Instead of praising your child with a “Good girl!” for every task she completes, praise her effort or behavior instead.  Use specific phrases such as “You worked so hard on cleaning your room,” or “I like the colors you used in your picture.”   Kids will eventually tune out vague praise and feel you are not addressing what they are showing you.  If you note the effort or the behavior they will know you are paying attention.

“Stop bothering me!”

All parents need time to themselves.  When your kids get clingy, or you need to accomplish a task, steer clear of yelling at them to leave you alone.  Your children will feel as though you are brushing them off.  It’s important to remember their world is much smaller than yours, and you are their “go to” person for just about everything.  Instead of yelling when you need a break, tell them you need a minute and get some fresh air.


Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart.  There are days that keeping your cool becomes a difficult task.  Remember your kids are still developing, and they learn from your behaviors.  Stick with positive reinforcements, be mindful of what you say  and remember to take a break when you need it.  Your kids will thank you.


Rick and Annie help parents navigate through the sometimes frustrating and confusing process of buying a stroller through their expertise and detailed reviews. Check out the Baby Jogger City Mini 2012 stroller reviews. Like them on Facebook at BabyStrollerConsultant.

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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