5 Things Parents Say That Shatter A Child's Self-Esteem

As a parent, you will use many words every day. Conversations between a parent and child are important. Frustration can make a parent desperate. Then, phrases might be uttered that cause a rift between a parent and a child.

Parents need to be more careful about the words and phrases they throw at their children. We all want to teach our children how to live life well. Here are five phrases that may cause your child to have low self-esteem.

1. “You never do anything right.”


Hearing these words can debilitate a child’s drive to try. This phrase tells your child that you do not believe he or she is capable of doing anything right. Children need their parents to believe that they can and will succeed. Your child needs encouragement. Things will go wrong, but your child needs another chance.


2. “You should know how to do this.”


This phrase questions your child’s knowledge and skill. Some skills must be taught and retaught. Expecting your child to know how to do something might be unreasonable. Instead, reassure your child that he or she can learn. Give clear instructions on how to accomplish a task and then encourage for the effort your child puts into the task.

3. “I’ll just do it.”


As a parent, your goal is to raise a responsible adult. Begin now by showing your child how to take care of himself or herself. It may take your child longer to do the dishes or vacuum the floor, but he or she is learning. You will have to exhibit some patience and occasionally overlook the dirt he or she has left behind. Give your child some breathing room. Your child wants to help and he or she wants to hear you say, “Thanks for trying. Good job.”

4. “You messed up again.”


Keeping track of your child’s mistakes is never helpful. Your child will feel like you are waiting to bring up all of his or her past mistakes. Your child may become more defiant, believing that you don’t really love him or her. Try to encourage your child to make a different decision next time. Lovingly explain what you expect of your child.

5. “Why can’t you be more like_______?”


Fill in the blank here. You know we have all thought this phrase. Maybe it has even slipped from your lips. Comparing your child to another child is so easy. You just want your child to be normal like everyone else. This phrase is so harmful to your child. As a parent, you need to leave your child room for mistakes. Your child needs room to grow and improve. Comparing your child to someone else may cause a rivalry. It also gives your child the idea that he or she is only lovable if he or she acts like everyone else.


Children need to feel loved and accepted. It is important for parents to encourage their children. As you instruct your child, be careful of the phrases you use. Teach your child with love and acceptance. Show your child there is nothing he or she could do to lose your love. What phrases do you use with your children? What phrases have you heard other parents use? How do their children respond to those phrases? Discussing this topic with other parents may help you approach your child more positively. Love your child with your carefully chosen words.

Have you ever said one of these to your child? If so, let us know if you will start to think more about your words in the future. Be sure to spread the word about this - your friends and family should be aware of this too. Every child should feel loved and accepted!