Things you shouldn’t say to your kids

I was walking to Sainsbury’s the other day, it’s just around the corner, and came across a mum, possibly a 2-3 year old in the stroller and their dog, suitably on a lead.  The dog was whimpering a bit, nothing really.  But then I heard the child from the pram say ‘shut up’ to the dog, then the mum turns and said, ‘yes, tell him to shut up!’.

When we were growing up there were 3 things we were not allowed to say as kids:

  1. Shut Up!
  2. I hate you!
  3. I’m going to kill you!

Now that my sister and I are safely in our forties, we do tease our mum and taunt her with ‘Shut Up, I hate you, and I’m going to kill you’ in unison.  Luckily for us we’re too big to put over her knee but wouldn’t put it passed her to get the Lady Maker out (Wooden Spoon).

In my opinion, I find ‘shut up’ rude, offensive and insulting.  I know at times I’m screaming it in my head but would never say it to another person.  Well maybe I’ve been guilty of it on one or two occasions.

I really felt for the dog, but also dread to think how she speaks to her child when she’s not in public.

What words or expressions (remember this is a family blog) that you find offensive?  What can we say instead?





Author: mediocremum

A slightly older mum of one, who drinks far too much red wine and has an unhealthy obsession with her slow cooker. During the day she's an ICT Trainer, Social Media/Online Marketing consultant and does a bit of public speaking. Full Profile on Google+

14 thoughts on “Things you shouldn’t say to your kids”

  1. Since my boys have got to a certain age (past the cute toddler stage and now into full-on bickering), I’ve lost it and yelled “Shuuuuut uuuuup” a few times. But I hated when they said it back, so we’ve resorted to “Shuuuuuuush” or “Button it”.
    I just go with how something sounds – if it sounds rude or upsetting, I ask them not to say it.
    Every so often they take me by surprise. My son was 5 when he came home from school and, when I asked him if he had homework, replied: “Don’t bust my balls!”
    I was speechless.

  2. One of my favourite teachers at school used to shout “cease and desist!” when we got a little rowdy. I usually resort to the more common “BE QUIET!” with my children, both of whom have a bell on every tooth that they shake with vigor many, many times a day.

  3. I tell DD that we can say ‘silly’ but not ‘stupid’. Unfortunately I yell, “Stupid girl!” when she does something really ,well, stupid like spilling or breaking something unnecessarily. I guess she knows when it’s really serious though.
    When I break something e.g. when I broke my glasses, DD looked at it and asked, “Shit you broke your glasses?”
    I am getting better at keeping my mouth shut.

    1. I’ve got a mouth like a trucker but luckily as an ex-teacher I have some degree of control when turning it on and off! However, she has repeated a few things I’ve said whilst driving! :-s

  4. My Mother used to have a “Lady Maker”, I never knew a wooden spoon was called that.
    She used top try and hold me still with one hand whilst trying to take aim at me withy it with the other hand, usually muttrering stuff like “Keep still you little sod”

    I used to wriggle like crazy and we both usually ended up laughing like drains. As I got older, I used to “Doctor” said wooden spoon with a hacksaw, such that when iut was next used the end would fly off.

    Again usually resultuing in laughter – Disciplining me was a right game I can tell you !

    1. You are so naughty! But that is very funny! I should probably clarify that my mum didn’t actually use the wooden spoon, the mere threat that she may was enough for us. :-)

  5. I have in the past when the children were babies and crying and I couldn’t work out why and I was sleep deprived and on the verge of tears shouted will you just shut up. This was then followed by lots and lots of cuddles as I realised what I had just said.

    Now I just resort to “oh will you please be quiet” but I don’t ask them to be quiet very often it tends to be “will you PLEASE turn the volume down on the noise you are making” which happens daily.

    We are the same here about hate or kill or wishing dead, all forbidden and will get a telling off. In fact I will even (lightly) reprimand friends children if they are at my house and use that language.

  6. My kids, well actually only my 5 year old is old enough to speak properly, are not allowed to say the following words, until they’re my age. The alternatives are in brackets.
    I hate (I don’t like)
    stupid (silly)
    nasty (not nice)
    oh my god (oh my gosh)
    Shut up (please be quiet). I agree this is an awful word
    I also don’t like it when small children say “disgusting”, but they say it on Peppa Pig and bizarrely I don’t like “stop it” either. It should be “stop that”.

    I threaten the naughty step if she uses them. I do try to practise what I preach, and not use these words, but easier said than done.

  7. I hate the words ‘stupid’, ‘pathetic’ and anything that makes kids feel small … must be from my childhood. I get furious with the husband if he ever uses the words, hence I reviewed ‘How to talk so kids listen’ on my blog, so show him that there are proper psychological reasons for not using them.

    I’m also a bit of a wimp and hate the word ‘toilet’, must have royal blood in me somewhere ;o)

    It’s funny have a 7 and 3yo … means that my daughter has embraced the word ‘poo poo’ much earlier than my son did. Apparently it’s very descriptive and can be used for anything, especially loudly in public!

  8. I have actually told my kids to shut up. I am a bit uncomfortable with it, but I needed a shocker to actually get them to listen and stop the drama that was unfolding. I console myself with the fact that it is a simple instruction and not an expression of criticism or dislike like I hate you, or a like, like I’m going to kill you!

  9. Walking around a shop the other day I heard a mum shout at her toddler “will you shut the f up” (using the actual f word) “and get your arse over here”. Classy…not! As far as I’m aware I’ve only told my daughter to shut up once, I was pushed to the very limit, and I felt so bad afterwards I put myself on the naughty step, which diffused the situation somewhat. I hope I will never say it again.

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