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7 Toxic Things Parents Say to Their Children (DPS Health And Wellness)

Parenting is a journey filled with joy, tenderness, and its fair share of hurdles. As guardians aiming to carve out the best path for our children, we may occasionally stumble, letting slip utterances that can ruffle the delicate fabric of a child’s psyche. In this blog, we unpack seven seemingly innocent phrases that pack a punch with negative repercussions for a child’s growth.

“You’ll Never Amount to Anything “Imagine the weight of these words on a child’s shoulders, a burden that implies worthlessness and squashes enthusiasm. These words can crush their spirit and dreams. Instead, we should be the cheerleaders for their ambitions, regardless of the actual outcome.


“I see how hard you’re trying. That’s fantastic.”

Offering constructive alternatives such as, “Let’s brainstorm some ideas together to help you reach your goal,” can inspire and encourage them.

The Comparison Trap: “Why Can’t You Be More Like Your Sibling?” Comparison is a thorny path that not only sows the seeds of emotional discord between siblings but also chips away at a child’s sense of self-worth. Every child is a tapestry of unique qualities and capabilities.

-highlight- Cherish the individuality of each child. -end highlight- Shower them with affirmations such as, “I love how good you are at what interests you,” or “You have such a kind heart,” to honor their distinctiveness.

Conditional Love: “If You Loved Me, You Wouldn’t Disagree” To dangle love as a conditional treat based on a child’s compliance is to set the stage for emotional turmoil. A child’s capacity to hold differing opinions or emotions is a sign of their emerging individuality, not a reason to question their affection.

Encourage open communication:

“I understand you’re upset, but can you explain why in a calm voice?”

This fosters dialogue and teaches constructive self-expression.

“You’re Such a Disappointment”No child should be made to feel as though their worth is derived solely from achievements or the lack thereof. Unconditional love is the fertile ground in which children bloom into their authentic selves, not contingent on their success or failures.


“I’m proud of the honest person you are,”

Reinforce their character and celebrate their acts of kindness.

“Don’t Talk Back”A parent’s instinct may be to silence backtalk, but this can inadvertently close down important lines of communication. Open conversations are the cornerstones of healthy relationships, including the bond between parent and child.

Encourage respectful discourse:

“I hear what you’re saying, but let’s remain calm.”

“Nobody Will Ever Love You but Me”We must steer clear of fostering an unhealthy dependency that can lead children to feel isolated from the wider world. Our role is to nurture confident individuals who can form varied and healthy connections outside the familial cocoon.

Encourage social growth by saying:

“It’s great you have such good friends,”

Or appreciate their interactions with extended family members, “I’m happy you’re enjoying time with your grandparents.”

The Pitfalls of Empty Promises Finally, let us touch upon the erosion of trust that comes from broken promises. We must only commit to what we can deliver and be transparent when unforeseen circumstances alter plans.

Highlight the importance of reliability:

“Something unexpected came up, so we can’t go to the park today. Let’s plan for tomorrow.”

By consciously choosing our words, we create a nurturing environment where our children can flourish. Each expression, each comment, is a brick in the foundation of their emotional world. Have these phrases ever echoed in your own upbringing? Maybe, without intention, they have slipped from your lips? Awareness is the key to transformation. And always aim for open and heartfelt communication with your little ones.

For those seeking further guidance and support, remember that professional counseling is accessible. You can reach us at 912-62-6501. Don’t let distance be a barrier; through teletherapy options, assistance is just a call away, often covered by insurance.

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Parenting is a canvas of boundless potential. With a palette of encouraging words and compassionate presence, we can paint the lives of our children with strokes of confidence, love, and self-worth that lasts a lifetime.