Top 10 Worst Parenting Words You Should Never Use For Your Child

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Top 10 Worst Parenting Words You Should Never Use For Your Child

Worst Parenting Words you should stop using!

Scolding children is normal, but sometimes parents end up using some harsh words that have lasting impacts on a child’s psyche.

Words have the power to wound or lift our hearts. This isn’t new news. Of course, the challenge is when you are small and new to the world – the words you hear help shape your self-esteem and ultimately, worldview.

Since I specialize in helping highly sensitive children thrive, oftentimes I spend time guiding children to “let go” of the words they’ve been called, from “brat” to “bonehead.”

Instead of treating your child like how you were treated. Treat them with the same love and attention you wanted from your parents while growing up.”

Said differently, we flip the script. I’ve helped a young boy, Tommy, begin to see himself as cautious and careful, instead of believing “You are a wimp.” These are positive traits that were initially slammed into him as negative. Of course, we are all a work in progress, and we make mistakes. That’s okay. The point is to be a bit more mindful about the words that we let slip off our tongues into our children’s hearts.

To help with that, I have included the top 10 worst parenting words (without regard to curses) that have slipped into everyday conversation that I would love to see evaporate. 

Top 10 Worst Parenting Words

10. Crybaby

9. Picky (fussy)

8. Wimpy

7. Whiny

6. Punk

5. Problem Child

4. Hypersensitive

3. Drama Queen

2. Defiant

1. Brat

Every single one of these words has a positive counterpart. Whether it’s changing “picky” to “discerning” or “selective,” the point is that when we 100 percent decide to frame things in a more optimistic light, we can reduce the likelihood of low self-esteem flourishing. Because frankly, children build their worlds with your words.

Shakespeare probably put it best when he said: “The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven’s lieutenants.”

There is a difference between educating your child and humiliating your child. Unfortunately, if you use any of the above-mentioned harsh parenting words, you will end up doing the latter. Children should not be made to feel bad or inferior about themselves; they are just kids after all.

If you want to know more about this, check out this video below:


Written By Maureen Healy
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today

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Top 10 Worst Parenting Words You Should Never Use For Your Child

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  1. Margaret King Avatar
    Margaret King

    Excellent, its important parents understand the damage that can be caused both deliberately and in some cases not intentionally. It would be good for parents to have meet ups before nursery, infants, juniors etc where general comments could be made to all parents acknowledging the damage to children in some case unknowingly. Its tragic what some children have to put up with and live through. We owe it to all children

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