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  • Writer's pictureSmridhi Malhotra

Never Say These Ten Toxic Things to Your Child


Never Say These Ten Toxic Things to Your Child

Parenting is never easy as children do not come with a handbook or instructions. Children have to be nurtured and guided with the best possible education and values to shape them into compassionate and responsible individuals.

But there are people who fail to understand this basic concept and they often end up saying things to their children which they should never say. Unfortunately, it is part of human nature to lash out at those closest to us when we are frustrated. And for many parents, that is their children.

Here are some toxic phrases that are the worst thing a parent can say to a child.

Also read - How parents can help kids in handling maths anxiety

I’m going to kill myself, and it is all your fault

As a younger child who takes things literally, this is a terrifying prospect. It causes intense panic and guilt, causing a child to worry whenever they are away from their parents. It is the ultimate of all toxic phrases, making a child feel like such a burden or embarrassment that their parent is prepared to kill themselves to get away.

I wish you had never been born

This is one of the harmful things parents say when they are enraged. However, it is something that you cannot take back, and it profoundly affects a child’s sense of acceptance.

Why are you not more like your brother/sister?

One of the most harmful things parents say that hurt is drawing comparisons between siblings. No one is a carbon copy of their brother/sister. These toxic phrases come out when report cards are issued with siblings who have not performed comparably with others.

You are the oldest and must set an example

This is one of the most toxic things parents do. Expecting the eldest to be perfect and lead by example puts the child under enormous pressure. Additionally, expecting the eldest child to take responsibility for the behavior and actions of younger siblings is wrong as it is not their job to parent them.

You are the reason we are divorced

By far one of the most toxic phrases a parent could use, this one places a great burden on a child. As it stands, children tend to blame themselves for a divorce, even when reassured they are not. This statement is among the list of things you should never say to your child. A divorce happens between two adults, and a child should never be made to feel it was their fault.

You have ruined my life/relationship

When parents say hurtful things, they often act from their perspective without considering the child. Therefore, if a parent goes into a new relationship and a child has difficulty adjusting, they will use toxic phrases to guilt-trip the child into accepting their new partner. Alternatively, parents use a phrase like this to deflect blame for their failures from themselves.

Your sibling is so much better than you

Again, toxic phrases comparing siblings are never a good idea and among the things parents should never say to their teenager. Teens are learning to find themselves. Their parents should be people they feel emotionally safe with, not constantly telling them they are ‘less-than’.

You are an embarrassment to this family

Children make mistakes as part of their development. To make a child feel you are ashamed of them is something that follows them into adulthood, like a stain that just will not wash off.

You are stupid

Parents typically use this toxic thing to say when a child has poor grades, failing to understand that children’s brains function differently. Not everyone is cut out for mainstream schooling but that does not make them stupid.

I wish you were dead - Worst toxic thing to say to your kid

It does not get much worse than this one, which tells a child that they mean so little to you that your life would be better if they died. Coming from a parent, a toxic statement like this could have a permanent effect on a child’s self-esteem.

Also read - How kids with ADHD perform better in online education environment

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