18 Ridiculous Things Parents Say to their Children.

Here’s a list of some things parents say to their kids that run the gamut of harmful, to useless, to funny, to plain dumb. Despite the fact that we heard some of these words from our parents, and thought they were ridiculous, they have made their way into our lexicon.

  1. “Money doesn’t grow on trees”

Yes, we know that, and most kids know that too. The cliché has definitely reached its expiration date. If something is too expensive, just say that its too expensive. New times need new idioms.

2.“I’m saying this for your own good”

As long as they are not feeling good about it, its not doing them any good.

3.“You’ve got to toughen up”

If you have a sensitive child, see it as a gift. We could use a little more empathy, emotion, and tenderness in the world.

4.“How many times do I have to tell you?”

Apparently one more!                                                                                            

5.“Finish the food on your plate. There are people starving in the world”.

A guilt trip doesn’t provide food for the impoverished. “Even though you don’t love it, take a few more bites, we’re blessed to have this meal”, is a better choice of words.

6.“You will know what life is when I die”

Please do share your ideas while you are alive. Wouldn’t it be a little scary to hear from you, once you’re dead!

Telling children how their behaviour affects your health, puts a big burden on little hearts.

7.“Back in the day…”, “In our times” … “when we were your age”

They don’t care. Stories of your struggle- real or fiction- were yours and are just that for the children- stories!

8.“Go ask the father”

You are passing the buck, don’t want to take any responsibility or decisions yourself, and you control the dad too? What if it backfires and the dad says yes?

9.“You can do much better than this.”

Perfection is never the goal, progress is. Progress is progress no matter how little or how slow. Always discuss the process with the child and never the end or result of a situation. What they’ve done is good. What did they enjoy most… would they like to do it any differently next time… are some questions you could address.

10.“Because I said so.”

Guilty of saying this several times myself… while I want my kids to respect my authority, expecting blind obedience will just lead to a power struggle.

Ultimately, are we trying to raise an obedient child or a responsible one?

11.“Go to your room.”

Is that a punishment? Isn’t the child’s room meant to be his/her happy place of peace and comfort? Or are you short of ideas and just being rude.

12.“Netflix has to go.”

I mean are you sure? Like really sure? The pandemic seems like its happy and here for a while! Think. Respond. Don’t react.

13.“Don’t make me count till three?”

Why tempt them, just start counting.

14.“I hope your kids turn out just like you.”

Telling your kids that they are a pain and that you want them to know that, may not help. I’d rather find my calm. 

15.“By your age, we used to…”

Are you actually admitting that your parents did a better job of raising you, than you are doing?

16.“We can discuss this when you are older.”

If they are asking about it now, you need to discuss it now before they learn about it from someone else. There are age appropriate ways to cover most topics.

17.“If you live under my roof, you are going to follow my rules.”

Part-empty threat, part-authoritarian, this one just puts up a wall between you and your child. In the bid to control, you just snapped a connection with your child. No connection, no control.

18.“I am going to trash that phone” 

Not such a good idea and not a great choice of words. With everything you say and do, you are showing them how to deal with a moment of rage. Calm is the balm. Fighting fire with fire is not the solution ever.


“What’s something I say to you that you think is silly?”

Go ahead. Ask your kids. And do post us a comment if they share something funny, or if you recall something ridiculous you ever heard. Carry on parenting, not all jobs have tangible rewards.

Here to hear you


CounsellorTalk Child.

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