13 Surprising Things You Should Never Say Around a Child


If you have kids, babysit kids, or simply spend a lot of time around your friends' kids, then you already know they are little sponges. Children have a way of soaking up what we say, mulling it over, repeating it — and sometimes even holding onto comments and criticisms for the rest of their lives. So, for all of those reasons and more, there are definitely a few things you shouldn't say around a child, if you can help it.

Of course, we all make mistakes and occasionally say things we don't mean, especially during the heat of an argument, or when a child is being particularly difficult. To make amends, often all it takes is an apology and a quick explanation as to why you were upset, or why you said something you didn't mean.

"For all kids, they have a fundamental trust in you and that you are looking out for them," clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow, host of The Web Radio Show, tells Bustle. "What you say is filtered through that belief, so what you say and the words you use carry a lot of weight."

There are, however, harsh words and phrases we should try to avoid at all costs, as well as fairly common comments we should banish from our repertoire. Take, for example, seemingly benign statements such as "go give Grandma a kiss." It may seem sweet to encourage a kid to show affection towards an adult, but doing so can actually have damaging ramifications. And that's why it's important to pick and choose what we say, and avoid some of the phrases below, as they can truly have an impact on kids.