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Things You Should Never Say To Your Teenager

Credits: @8photo

We have all said wrong things at times leaving the other person including our kids angry, hurt or confused. We may regret these statements later but cannot undo them. Kids expect constant, unconditional support from their parents and coming from them harsh words can cause long lasting damage and resentment.

Occasionally, kids become victims of their parents’ anxieties and fears as the parents unreasonably channel their frustration on their children. In hindsight they realize, that their kids are on the receiving end of the harsh communication they hated during their own teen years.

Here are some of the most annoying, hurtful, upsetting, controlling, harsh statements that parents make according to teenagers.

Why can’t you be more like your brother or sister?

When you compare your kid to another child and worse to a sibling you are promoting a feeling of not being good enough and unhealthy competition. Parents mostly do this to instigate the spirit of competition in the child, thinking it will motivate the child. Theodore Roosevelt said “Competition is the thief of joy.”, rightly so, comparisons on the contrary, puts pressure on them and undermines their self-esteem. Encouragement and praise on the other hand work wonders in bringing the desired changes.

Credits: @peoplecreations

You are useless

At this age, teenagers are exploring concepts of self-worth and dignity. Constructive criticism that identifies specific behaviors that needs change is going to get much better results than the generalized, harsh statements like “you are useless” or “you are good for nothing.” These arbit statements do not indicate the change you expect in your child, they just erode their confidence and sense of accomplishment.

Credits: @master1305

Because I said so!

When denying your child’s request for television or friends or any other procrastinating activity, parents should walk them through their decision and its impact rather than using the cliched parenting phrases like “because I say so” or “Just do as I say”. Teen years is a crucial time for kids to learn the concept of cause n effect of their actions.


You are still a kid

As kids enter their teenage phase they start to think of themselves as adults while the parents are still thinking of them as young kids. Repeatedly telling them that are still kids might sound disrespectful and hurtful to them. This is an important stage where parents need to support them and build their self-confidence. Use this time to help them develop their traits of independence and responsibility.

Credits: @peoplecreations

In my house ….

All of us might have used this statement at some time to reinforce our rules. But the house belongs to everyone in the family including the kids. Such a statement can make the teenagers feel that the home is not theirs and they might not feel safe and secure. This can deteriorate the feeling of belongingness in the family.

Credits: @master1305

I do everything for you

On most days mothers feel like a combination of a cook, chauffeur and punching bag to their kids. You may feel overwhelmed and unappreciated, I know I do. But do not expect what you are doing for your kids to be repaid with effusive thanks or even good behavior. Inculcate good manners and gratitude by displaying these behaviors.

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You are the most handsome boy/prettiest girl

It is good to praise the child and encourage them but such statements are bound to give the child a feeling of superiority and they promote too much emphasis on looks and appearance. They might start looking down on others around them and when faced with reality be disappointed and disheartened.

Credits: @lookstudio

You are a liar

Even if your child took some money from your wallet or lied about a stay back in school, this accusation will only make him feel personally attacked and make them defensive. Start a conversation about why it’s not okay to lie and why he/she felt the need to lie. Be open and non-judgmental rather than having an aggressive and punishing stance. We need to build the trust and openness in our relationship with our kids where they can share their problems and challenges.


Author: Saumya Gupta

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