I’m a child expert and these are the five phrases you should never say to your kids

As kids grow up, they become increasingly impressionable. 

What we expose them to is most likely what they will carry with them, so it's important to always be conscious of what we say to our children.

How we speak to our little ones goes on to influence the way they view the world and themselves. 

So sometimes parents have to erase some common phrases or words from their vocabulary as some sayings may actually do more harm than good.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure which phrases can cause damage as we’ve spoken to an expert to find out the top five things that you should never say to your child.

Parenting expert and qualified Early Years Practitioner Kirsty Ketley shared her advice on the do’s and don’ts when talking to kids.



The mum-of-two, who shares her tips on her website said: “Being mindful of the things that you say to your children is really important to ensure your child's emotional cup is kept nicely topped up, leading to better self-esteem. 

“It also ensures that your child feels able to come to you when they need some advice or help and they learn how best to talk to people.”

Here, Kirsty rounded up her top five things not to say to your child…


The parenting expert said one of the worst phrases to say to a child is “don’t be silly.” 

She said: “This is one of the worst things to say when your child is upset. 

“It totally invalidates their feelings and could stop them from opening up to you in future. 

“Instead, show some empathy and reassure them that it will be ok. Ask what you can do to help and let them know that you are there for them.”


Another phrase Kirsty explained should be avoided at all costs is telling a child they’re stupid.

Part of the reason that calling a kid stupid is so damaging is that they understand what it means. 

Unless you want to harm your relationship with your children, don't ever tell them that they're stupid.  

Calling your child stupid, is a sure fire way to make their self-esteem plummet.

The parenting expert said: “This is a banned word in our house! Calling your child stupid, is a sure fire way to make their self-esteem plummet. Said enough times, they believe it. 

“Instead; If you're child does something without thinking, that results in an accident or breakage, reassure them that we all make mistakes.

“Then, remind them of what and how they could have done to avoid the situation.”


Gender ideology is a cultural belief system which tells you how you should feel and act.

But telling boys and girls not to cry – is basically saying they shouldn’t show their feelings and should remain silent. 

But this can be super damaging. 

Expert Kirsty commented: “Big boys and girls don’t cry? Yes they do! And they should be allowed to feel that they are allowed to cry. 

“Being brave doesn't mean they cannot cry and it doesn't make them feel any less of a boy or girl, which is what they will feel. 

“Plus, like being told they are being silly, they will be reluctant to open up in the future as they don't feel you understand.”


Children should not be forced to hug and kiss anyone they do not want to, including their own family members, advised Kirsty. 

The expert explained that it’s also a good idea to introduce the idea of consent early on.

She said it is wrong to say the phrase “give **** a hug or a kiss” as the child may not want to.

Kirsty said: “Teaching them to ask first if it is OK to give someone a hug/kiss and then accepting that if they say no, that is OK.”


The parenting expert also added that telling a child they’re “a bit chubby’ is wrong on so many levels.

She actually pointed out that ANY words associated with weight are really not needed. 

Kirsty explained: “These words send a message that we think something is wrong with our children.

These words send a message that we think something is wrong with our children.

“It will set them up to have an unhealthy image of their body, low self-esteem and an unhealthy relationship with diet and exercise.

“Instead, model a healthy lifestyle, which includes all foods and exercise and is just a part of your family life. 

“If you do say one of these, it is important that you apologise and explain that you were wrong to use those words.”

In more parenting news, a sleep expert reveals how to tell if your baby is tired… and why it all changes when they’re three months old.

We also revealed, what chores your kids should be doing at every age and why it’s important not to get it wrong.

And a mum revealed how she always gets fussy eaters to want their food and it will only take you a second to do.

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