10. I’m Disappointed In You
As much as disappointment is a very valid feeling, this word alone can be so scarring. Many people genuinely grow up believing they are a disappointment to their families because they are mindlessly told this throughout their lifetimes.
Instead try saying: “I’m not happy with your actions. Please avoid doing […] in future.”
11. Leave Me Alone / Don’t Bother Me
Parenting is exhausting work. And a few child-free moments from time to time in order to unwind and spend however a person wishes can do wonders for a parent’s ability to recharge and get back to it. But when a parent is constantly giving their kids the brush-off by answering their pleas for attention with “Leave me alone” or “I’m busy”, eventually kids will internalize the message and give up.
Then parents will get exactly what they requested and their children will eventually come to think of them as permanently unavailable. This may set up a problematic pattern as children will be less likely to seek guidance from their parents in the future.
While it’s important for kids to understand their parents require alone time, it’s equally critical that they consider their parents to be approachable. If an important deadline is looming, then consider giving children advanced warning such as “Mommy has to work for the next hour. When I’m done, we’ll play a game together.” But be realistic with expectations — the younger a child is, the shorter the time they will be capable of amusing themselves.
12. You’d Better Do What I Say… Or Else!
Or else… what? That’s the typical, flippant response you can expect from a kid, and for good reason.
Without a doubt, this sounds more like a threat than anything else. Using fear to discipline children is unhealthy and usually backfires. Simply explain why you’d like something done and they’ll be more likely to comply.
Instead, try saying: “Please do […] because […].” Understanding the WHY behind the ask is. So take the extra minute to explain to your child the reason why you want them to do something. They’re a lot more apt to comply if they understand.
13. You Live Under My Roof So You Follow My Rules
Another thing a lot of parents love to say. Very similar to “this is my house; you’re just living in it.” Both of these statements make your child feel unwelcome in their own homes and make them feel borderline burdensome.
Instead, try saying: “You know the household rules. Please stick to them.”