Parenting Tips

10 Toxic things parents say to their children

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“Children are a gift from God, they are His reward.”

-Psalm 127:3

Kids are always considered a blessing from God.

They always seek love and care from their parents. And as parents, it’s our duty to give the children the love, care, warmth, and guidance they deserve.

The way parents raise their kids and act around them is the foundation that builds the kids’ self-respect and personality.

But what happens when parents are toxic?

Hurtful words, whether they are intentional or unintentional, can leave a haunting memory for a lifetime. This situation is more critical with kids.

Unkind and cruel words that are coming from loved ones which include parents and the emotional and psychological damage it can cause can be noxious to kids, as to any other human being.

There are people living their lives miserably trapped in painful childhood memories. Children are sensitive and can be easily hurt than we imagine. That’s why proper guidance should be given by parents. As parents, we all should avoid toxic traits with children.

So, how to understand if a parent or caretaker is toxic or not?

In this article, I’m sharing 10 things that toxic parents say that will affect a child’s life badly. If you’re a parent or a future parent, be mindful of these things.

My main goal is to raise awareness among parents by presenting this issue in an easily understandable manner. If you know someone who might get some help from referring to this article, please consider sharing this article to reach worldwide attention.

01.   Offensive remarks about their appearance

“You’re ugly”

“You’re too fat!”

“You’re too skinny”

 “You have ugly hair”

Degrading or humiliating a kid based on their body type and physical appearance will only increase their physical insecurity. Eventually, they’ll begin to worry about their appearance and body image. This will lead to serious emotional issues such as loss of appetite and eating disorders which can ultimately cause physical ailments too.

As a parent, you should teach your children how to love themselves regardless of how they look on the outside, what shape and color they have. Parents are supposed to educate their children to believe in themselves and have self-confidence.

02.   Provocative questions towards their actions

“Why are you acting so weird?”

“Why are you walking that way?”

“Why do you move that way?”

“Why do you talk that way?”

“Why do you eat that way?”

Children believe anything that their parents would say, simply because parents are their whole world and they’re the ones who are closest to them.

Sarcastic questions and negative remarks always make the kids feel like that there’s something wrong with them that they begin to feel worried about. This makes it so difficult for the child to be their own selves around others, and the worst thing is this will continue to happen in their adulthood too. They’ll start worrying that others may humiliate or laugh at them or notice their flaws and mistakes. They’ll start suffering inside with discomfort and fear.

03.   Unhealthy comparisons

“Why aren’t you like your friends?”

“Why is your sibling smarter than you?”

“Other kids are better than you!”

“Why can’t you get higher results like your cousin?”

This will affect negatively to a child because it reduces his self-confidence in a notable way. It makes the child think that he will never be good enough, regardless of how hard they try. Also comparing a kid with his own siblings do nothing but build an unhealthy relationship with each other. This is a huge reason to cause them to feel anger, hatred, and jealousy towards their own siblings.

Children should be given the freedom to build their own independent identities. Just because they all are your kids, they shouldn’t be equal talented towards something, to education, to sports, to extra-curricular activities, etc.  

04.   Selfish wishes

“I wish you were never born!”

“I want you to die!”

“I wish I had an abortion!”

“I regret having you!”

“I wish you were a different child!”

Parents must never say things like the above-mentioned expressions to a child. It will do nothing but make the children feel like they weren’t really supposed to exist in the world and that they don’t deserve to be alive. It will cause situations where they end up questioning their own selves why they’re even surviving. These feelings are so harmful to any person and especially to children.

This can lead to self-harm and early depression.

As parents, we should make them feel loved and valued.

05.   Make the child feel like a burden to his parents

“You cost me a lot of money.”

“It’s hard to take care of you.”

“I can’t do this anymore.”

“Having you exhausts me!”

If a parent says something like that to their kids there’s no doubt that the child will feel himself as an obstacle. As a result, to avoid parents’ wrath, unfortunately, children will start hiding their feelings, problems, and needs.

Researches have revealed that lack of love, affection, and warmth is the reason behind some children who have involved in stealing and being abusive.

06.   Abusive words or statements towards the children

“You’re stupid!”

“You’re useless!”

“You’re a loser!”

“You’ll never make it!”

Absolute negative remarks like this will damage your child’s self esteem and it will darken his whole future.

Parents are supposed to encourage children and teach to believe in themselves.

07.   Empty promises

“If you do this, I’ll buy you that..”

“I’ll take you there next time..”

“If you want this, do this first, and I’ll give this to you..”

Sometimes parents promise their kids, but they never do it. When parents don’t keep promises that they make, it only breaks the child’s trust. It will create a sense of betrayal in the child’s mind. Making fake promises is a way to make children believe that they should not trust others in life.

08.   Threatening abandonment

“I’ll leave you!”

“I’ll put you aside!”

“I’ll just disappear!”

“You’ll wake up and never find me again!”

As you read this you’ll wonder if a parent would ever say this to their child. Yes, there are. Even though we can’t accept the fact, there are parents who threaten their own kids as such.

This will ultimately cause the children to have abandonment issues. This means they’ll feel that the people who love him, will leave them one day because of who they are. This belief becomes worse when they grow up. They will fail to trust future relationships because of fear of leaving of the other person.  

09.   Telling lies

Sometimes parents just guess that kids can’t figure out things. But most of the time kids are smarter than parents think that they can easily find out if parents are either lying or not. Kids should not be misguided or told lies.

Just imagine how would they feel that their mommy or daddy has lied to them? They’d be heartbroken and hopeless. It will make them trust no one. Also, they’ll think that lying is okay.

Always try to have an honest and open conversation with them as long as they can handle it and that the truth is suited for their age.

10.   Warnings

“I’ll leave you if you behave like this!”

“Do this or I’ll hit you!”

This will only make a kid terrified. Don’t ever try to threaten a kid. they should not be warned.

Children’s innocent minds will take things seriously. They’ll live their whole life scared and worried.


Words aren’t physically harmful. But they are extremely harmful to the emotional and psychic well-being of a person.

As childhood is the most precious and the smoothest chapter in every human’s life they should be guided properly. Childhood is the phase that builds one’s personality, beliefs, and behavior.

As parents, we should be more responsible and mindful about how we talk to our children.

Have you ever experienced any of these forms of abuse? Let us know how you feel about them in the comments below!

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