What not to say to your children - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

What not to say to your children

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We love our children. But we don't always like them. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, we say things we shouldn't. Where do you draw the line? What should you never say to your kids?

No parent is perfect, and it's hard to take the high road when you're so angry you're about to lose it. But that's not always the problem. You may be saying things every day to your kid, not realizing they can be hurtful.

In a lot of ways Angelika Taylor feels lucky. She's got two great girls: 14-year-old Ally and 12-year-old Kenzie, who still talk to her about their lives,

"But I'm definitely nobody's best friend in my house. I'm a very strict mom," said Taylor.

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes the girls make her angry.

"You know, when you're tested, you want to explode.  And there are moments I have yelled, and I feel so guilty afterwards.  Because that is what sticks in their mind," said Taylor.

Taylor says it doesn't happen often. She says there are times she simply has to walk away, telling her kids she needs a break.

Child psychologist Nancy McGarrah has heard parents say some pretty harsh things, and not always in anger.
      
"Never refer to a child as an accident. People do that all the time, and they think it's cute. It's like, well, we have these three children. We have John, we have Susie, and then we have our little "accident" Billy," said McGarrah.

McGarrah says never label your children.

"This is the athletic one. This is smart one.  This is the creative one. Because parents do that very early on, based on very little data, and children live into those niches. They move into the niches and stay there," explained McGarrah.

What if you say something you regret? Taylor says an apology can get you back on track.
         
"We hug it out, they still come up to me and say, ‘I'm sorry, I see what I did wrong. I love you.  Do you still love me?'  And we love each other and that's it," said Taylor.

Another don't that we do without thinking about it is that we compare our kids to each other. McGarrah says comparing kids not only causes a rift in the family, but it's really hard for the child being criticized as an under-achiever.

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