Why Phrases Like “Shut Up” or “That’s Stupid” Leave a Lingering Hurt

BONUS: Try My Breakthrough Parenting Technique for Eliminating Common Hurtful Phrases

We can’t expect ourselves to immediately have the perfect words to say every time our buttons get pushed. That said, if we allow certain damaging phrases to be part of our everyday vernacular, we aren’t taking into account the lingering hurtful effects they have on our child.

It’s helpful for us to examine common phrases we habitually use, then watch our kids for how those phrases are received. My kids rolled their eyes and chuckled at: “tough tits, life isn’t fair” or “parenting is thankless.” My personal worst parenting fail may have been: “four kids is too many.” There were a few times they bristled at that one with a look of confusion. Life is about perspective, expecting my kids to understand parenting is hard is probably too much to ask.

Therefore, I decided it’s up to me to consciously choose the words and phrases that best serve my efforts in building my kids’ confidence…and not burden them with my exasperation. It’s my job to edit my go-to phrases for how they might land in my kid’s ears. We are growing our child’s self-esteem and we owe it to them to be cautious with our words.

If you find yourself resorting to auto-responses that include, “That was stupid?”, “Why can’t you just shut up for a while?”, or “That was a dumb thing to do” — please consider how it feels for your child to hear those phrases from their parent. And if your parent used them on you, it’s time to break that cycle. Today.

Those words take personal aim to the psyche and can become part of your child’s inner narrative, and this leads to a whole new chain of hurt as it transfers to your child’s friends, siblings, or classmates.

Let’s remember: What we choose to say matters

Ask Mom’s Breakthrough Parenting Technique for Eliminating Common Hurtful Phrases

Looking into a mirror…Think of a couple common phrases you say to your child when you’re angry. Now pick one and say it while looking into the mirror. Notice how your brow furls, your face contorts, you’re your mouth narrows? Would you listen to that face? Now try this, yell at your child in the mirror. That’s a powerful reflection, isn’t it?

Remember: When your child looks into a mirror, his needs are to see his reflection, not your projection.

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Sue Donnellan. Parent Mentor. Overwhelm Eliminator. No-Nonsense, Results-Based Household Transformer. Author. Entrepreneur. Wife. Mom of 4. AskMomParenting.com