In Denise Schipani's article, 10 things you should never say to your kids, she lists common phrases that parents may say to their children in the heat of the moment.
Although these comments might not sound bad, they can actually be harmful and upsetting.
- "I know you can try harder."
- "Are you sure you need that second cupcake?"
- "You always…" or "You never…"
- "Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?"
- "I told you waiting until the last minute was a mistake!"
- "You’re the best at soccer!"
- "Don’t worry—the first day of school will be fine."
- "Because I said so!"
- "I wish you didn’t hang out with Jack; I don’t like that kid."
- "That’s not how you do it! Here, let me."
What's interesting about the list is that no phrase is actually that bad, objectively. However, the sentiment could upset or potentially damage the child.
Parenting advice has changed over time. The old Victorian adage - "children should be seen and not heard" - is clearly no longer relevant. Our parents were brought up differently than their own parents. And the way they brought us up, and how we bring up our own children, is likely also different.