Things Parents Should Never Say To Their Teenager

If you are a parent of a teenager, then you must have had some problems with them. You might have yelled at your children, watched them grow up to be rebellious and disrespectful towards you, threw tantrums when they didn’t get their way.

There is an old saying that “Children are our future.” However, there was never a time more critical than now to understand the children of today. Many of them will be tomorrow’s leaders, and many others will go on to lead happy, fulfilling lives even if they don’t choose leadership as their life path. But some will fall by the wayside. We need to make an effort to be aware of those children and how we can help them.

Below are some of the things you should never say to your teenager.

1. You’re Not A Kid Anymore

There comes a time in every child’s life when they must break away from their parents. If your teen is still living under the same roof as you, it could signify they are not ready to take on the world alone. Many parents mistake telling their children that they are now “adults” and need to start acting like adults, even if their child is still shy and reserved.

And this could mean having a part-time job, paying the bills, or any other adult activity.

They don’t realize that forcing your teen to grow up too soon is sometimes the root cause of why they fail as adults later on.

The reason is, they end up feeling overwhelmed and completely unprepared to cope with the pressures of adulthood. 

You need to understand that no matter how old your teen gets, they still need time and space to grow into a mature young adult.

2. Respect My Rules Or Else…

Some parents make the mistake of trying to make their children follow rules which they don’t like. They resort to threats and intimidation to get them to do what they want.

As such, this results in many arguments and both parent and child becoming frustrated at each other.

What some parents fail to realize is that for your teen, you’re just another “adult.” Also, your child might not even respect you or hold you in high esteem. This means that when you tell them to do something, they won’t listen to you, much less follow your rules.

Parents and children need to communicate together to find common ground and share the same rules and guidelines.

3. You Are Useless

Being a teenager isn’t easy. They face the same pressures as adults, but they lack the experience and wisdom to deal with them.

Also, at this early phase of their lives, teens are usually unsure about their own identity. They doubt themselves and have little self-respect or self-confidence.

So when you tell your child that they are useless, you are undermining their very existence. You’re tearing them down, and it can break their spirit.

Instead of saying things like that to your teen, try to build them up. Try to encourage your child with words of praise and encouragement. It will help boost their confidence and self-esteem, which will help them succeed in life later on.

4. Your Brother/Sister Is Better Than You

From a very early age, children compare themselves with their siblings. Suppose there is a gap between their intelligence levels or any other abilities. In that case, they will usually try to create a mental block to convince them that they are different.

In most cases, this means creating an “us” vs. “them” situation. They will try to set themselves apart from their siblings to get your attention and keep it.

So, when you compare your child with their sibling, this could mean trouble for everyone involved. Not only are you forcing them to see how different they are from each other, but you are also giving the message that they can’t measure up as individuals.

5. You Will Never Succeed In Life

In your eyes, you might think that this is true. But what you don’t know is that telling your child this kind of thing can be very damaging to their self-esteem and mental health. Not only are they uncertain about their future, they now lack the confidence to pursue something they want.

Telling your teen that they will never succeed in life also means you don’t believe in their abilities and talents, which is horrible for a parent to do.

What parents should say instead is, “You might face challenges, but with hard work, I know you can overcome them.” It is a much more positive and encouraging message to send to your teen.

Of course, you must also believe in your teen’s capabilities and inner abilities. If you don’t, how do you expect them to?

6. Don’t Be Like Your Father/Mother.

This kind of statement is a surefire way to get your child to become just like their other parent. If you say this, it means that you have made the comparison and have found the other parent wanting in some way.

So when your teen hears these words from you, they will feel compelled to do the exact opposite of what you just said.

That’s not very wise, now is it?

What parents should say instead is, “People are different from each other, and they also have different values and beliefs. You can choose to do things differently than how your father/mother does them.

However, upholding their values and using them as a guideline in life is a good thing.

7. You’re Ugly/Fat

At this age, your teen’s looks are essential. They are more self-conscious of their physical appearance because they are beginning to become adults.

Also, teen girls have raging hormones that cause them to have irregular periods, making them ‘gain weight.’

Because of this, some teens resort to extreme measures to lose weight. They start dieting and exercising more rigorously or take laxatives to lose those pounds as quickly as possible.

Also, girls at this age are usually experiencing a lot of firsts – menstruation, first sex, pregnancy, etc. So it’s not very wise for parents to say things that can be hurtful to their teens.

What parents should say instead is, “You look beautiful/handsome the way you are.” Your child needs to see themselves in a positive light, which means that they have to believe that their looks are just right.


You are not just your child’s parent. You are also their friend, mentor, and guide. So the best thing you can do for them is to be supportive of who they are, even when they are doing something that you know is wrong.

Your children will outgrow you in every way possible–physically, mentally, and emotionally. But they will never lose the need for your affection and love. So offer it to them without fail every day.