Everyone has different views on parenting. Old school, new school, new age, classic, chill, helicopter…the list literally goes on and on. For most of us. as long as no one is getting hurt in the process, we tend to live and let other people parent how they would like to.

No matter your tendencies, the majority of us are also trying to do right by the children in our care, so avoiding toxic phrasing and requests is high on our todo lists.

If you’re concerned that some of the things you say might not be the best tact, these 21 people have some ideas on toxic things you should never say to your littles.

21. None of this is ok.

If you’re so depressed why aren’t you cutting? – Cut deeper and kill yourself.

She also forced me to sleep outside regularly. Dad let me in sometimes after midnight. She starts screaming and crying that she knows my dad and I are having an affair or he wouldn’t have let me in.

Oh and ugly remarks about my appearance, how no one will ever love me or be friends with me. Which I guess she’s right about that one.

20. What is wrong with people?

that i’m useless and can’t do anything right because I couldn’t open a jar of tomato sauce for my mom at 1am.

Also been there when I was unable to start the washing machine without anyone ever telling me how to do so.

19. That’s not a way to bond your kids.

Constantly comparing you with your older siblings, and extremely different treatment. It makes you feel inferior to them and like no matter how much you try or do, it will never be enough.

18. Don’t do this.

In my experience, divorced parents that say stuff like :

“Don’t talk about that to your [other parent]” “Tell your [other parent] this” “Your [other parent] is trying to manipulate you.”

“You see what [other parent] did ? I’m not saying you should hate them, but isn’t bit messed up that they did that ?”

It really screws with the kid’s head. If you’re ever going through a divorce and have children, please find a way to sort your stuff with your former spouse without involving your children more than necessary.

17. Grief does funny things to folks.

My older brother died of SIDS when he was four months old. My entire childhood was me being the biggest overachiever I could and anytime I came home and tried to tell my mom something to make her proud of me, she’d reflect on how she thought my brother would have done so much better on it. Never would say anything positive about my attempts.

When she didn’t compare me to the son she lost, she would just interrupt me with “THIS ONE TIME AT BAND CAMP” laugh and pretend I wasn’t even in the room.

16. I’m sorry I read this.

“You wrecked my marriage” no.. he went to jail for sexually abusing me for 7 years. Age 4-11

15. Bullying 101.

I gave up everything I liked for you

95? Why not 100?

why can’t you be like so and so’s child, they do

A bit subtler than the top comments here but can eat a child’s self worth and guilt them well into adult hood and pass by standard alarms

14. Never say this to anyone, tbh.

You’re worthless.

13. Grades don’t equal mental health.

My mom laughed at me when I said that I most likely have a mental illness or a disorder. Then she asked me if my grades were okay and I said yes, then she replied that it’s okay.

I’ve been asking her to get me therapy for almost 7 years now 🙂

12. He sounds fun.

“We’re moving and you’re not welcome”

This is what my dad said to me while blackout drunk, after he took my sister’s pizza that I made, ate it in front of me, and then threw the pizza at me after I asked him why he’s like that and walked away.

We were supposed to be moving to a new place the next couple weeks after this fight.

11. That will drive a person mad.


Over and over again for years and years. Any accomplishment any trial passed any challenge won

Just “okay”

10. Don’t hit your kids, friends.

Does hitting your kid count because that’s how my dad talked to me

Or while they are hitting you telling you it’s because (I) they love you and or (ii) you made them do it and as they are shouting at you, hitting you it time with each syllable.

I think it counts

9. Classic childhood trauma.

Talk bad about the other parent then compare you to them. “You’re just like your father!”

8. That doesn’t make a kid feel safe.

“i kicked your mom out and i can kick you out as well.”

My dad was kicked out at 13. They started to throw that in my face as a threat to kick me out when I was 9. They’d start counting down the years, and by the time I was 11, saying theyd do it earlier

7. This just took my breath away.

“I wish you’d commit suicide.” -my dad

6. What did I just read?

My dad made my mom choose between me or him when I was 15. He was angry I wouldn’t give him my email password so he could change it and block me from having any friends after I changed schools.

My mom without hesitation told me to leave. It was winter. I had no coat. I wandered around town then slept under the stairs of the building they lived in. Eventually that night my father gave my mother permission to let me back in.

I told them about this trauma when I was 25. They both screamed at me & called me a “fu**ing liar” while I cried. I’ll never forget the trauma of my mother telling her child to leave and choosing her husband. Over an email password.

5. Sounds like mom was part of the problem.

He held me down. He was a very big, muscular man. Professional law enforcement most of his life. I was a 14 year old girl. He traced the knife over my wrist, not hard enough to cut but hard enough to feel how cold and sharp it was. “You know how to cut? None of that sissy stuff any more. Do it right next time. Like this (tracing along the artery), you can save us all the hassle of dealing with you.”

I eventually cut contact as an adult, for a lot of reasons (this kind of incident didn’t happen in a vacuum), but that was one of the biggest lines crossed. My mom insists to this day that she raised me to be more forgiving and that she can’t understand why I’d fracture the family.

It’s because I am forgiving- and I realized that I also deserve to be forgiving to myself. I can forgive myself for all the pain that led me to that place, I can forgive myself for all the times I had to keep my mouth shut when I was hurt or afraid, and I can show enough compassion to myself now to make sure I NEVER have to see his face again.

4. Learn to take criticism, friends.

“So you’re saying that I’m a bad parent” in response to any form of help-seeking of constructive criticism was the worst for me.

3. Sounds like she’s the child.

‘I’m going to throw myself off a building, you all hate me anyway.’

And a hundred variations of that.

2. Therapy ftw.

My mom liked to pull the passive aggressive version. “I’m sorry I’m such a bad mom!”

…which is code for “your experience and emotions mean nothing to me, now shower me with praises and stop pouting”

1. How exhausting.

My mom has tried to commit suicide multiple times throughout my life (and there were times that she probably wasn’t explicitly trying to kill her self, but it was reckless enough behaviors to land her in mental hospital).

Anyway, I’ve always felt like it’s my job to keep her alive. Now that I’m almost 30, it doesn’t invoke the same terror. I used to believe if she died, then I would die, because there really wasn’t anyone else around enough to consistently take care of us as kids.

Anyway, right after I gave birth, I heard she drove herself off a road in the middle of the night driving super fast. I confronted her about it, saying like “why would you do that?” Even though I knew the answer…

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve already mourned her death. Many times. She’s still here but when she does finally pass away, it won’t be as much of a shock as it would be to other people, because I’ve been slowly exposed to her almost dying my whole life.


So glad to see that none of these have come out of my mouth so far.

What else would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments!