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8 Toxic Things Parents Say to Their Children

The words adults say to one another can be hurtful and toxic but can oftentimes be dismissed quickly or not taken seriously as you move on to another topic. However, the words adults can say to children can be hurtful and toxic and leave an indelible mark on their hearts and lives. Many children never forget the physical or verbal abuse they experience, and they can either grow up to be wounded or depressed people, or they can even become abusers themselves.


According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2008 over 50,000 children were officially counted as victims of psychological abuse. A child’s personality and self-confidence are directly related to the way they are raised and how their parents spoke to them.


Criticize their appearance –

Some parents will belittle their children’s appearance like their weight, hairstyle, or fashion choices. Kids are already so vulnerable about their appearance around their peers that when an adult who is supposed to love them unconditionally ridicules their appearance, then they will have absolutely no confidence in themselves around anyone. Mocking their appearance can lead to eating disorders or cutting. Parents should encourage and build up their child’s self-esteem, not tear them down.


Complain about having them –

Every child should know how much they are appreciated, loved, and wanted. To hear from your parents that you are a burden and not wanted will definitely hurt your heart and it may also make you angry. Some parents make complain out of anger and frustration while not meaning what they say in the moment. But kids tend to believe just about everything they hear, so they will believe the critical and complaining words from their parents.


Threatening to Leave –

Children need stability, and they need to know that their parents will be there for them and not leave them. So, when parents threaten to leave, their child will grow up distrusting people that they love for fear of begin abandoned.


Comparing –

Each person is made uniquely, and when parents compare one child to the other by saying words like “Why can’t you be more like your brother or your sister? These words from parents only create sibling rivalry. One child will be envious and resentful of the other all because their parents put one against the other.


Offensive Words/Statements –

Children pick up on every word that comes from the mouth of adults. These words can be encouraging, or they can be offensive. If a child hears from their parents over and over that they are stupid, then they will begin to believe it as the truth.


Making Selfish Statements –

“I wish you were never born.” “I wish I had an abortion, I’m sorry to have you.” A child should never hear these words said to them by their parent. A parent who would say these words to their child can cause them to have low self-esteem or think they shouldn’t be alive.


Empty Promises –

Trust will never be upheld between a child and their parent if a parent cannot keep their word. “I’ll take you there next time,” but you don’t ever do it is an empty promise.

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