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5 Things You Say To Your Child That'll Almost Always Start A Fight

Parenting is repetition: the repetition of requests, assists, orders, love. Repeating things over and over again can drive a person crazy, and it can be easy to let slip some choice words slip out during conversation. It's important to pay attention to these words though, because there are some things you could say to your child that will always start a fight.

Although children are resilient, they are most vulnerable to the words of their parents, even when it seems the exact opposite is true. What you say to your children stays with them for life, like it or not. That's why it's so important to pay attention to the words you use, and plan for the potential reaction, should one of these phrases slip. The more you practice and plan for how you handle each frustration or bump in the road, the easier it gets to choose the right words in a moment of annoyance or anger.

With parenting, repetition is part of the gig, so look at the big picture and know that over the long run, what you say does sink in: good and bad. When you read through this list of things you could say to your child that will always start a fight, think about how you yourself want to be talked to, and try taking that into account next time you talk to your child.

1. Commenting On Their Clothing

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Criticizing your child's clothing is simply piling on what the world will already provide for your child: constant assessment of their appearance. Let your child wear what they want to wear, and if you have an legitimate concerns, try the compliment-critique-compliment sandwich.

2. Comparing Them To Other Kids

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Don't compare your child, period. It does nothing except for demean them and create resentment between the two of you.

3. Saying They're Ridiculous

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I admit I occasionally say this to my kids, and it never goes over well. It's insulting, and children– especially tweens and teens–are very aware of the fact that the world of adults sees them as people to not be taken seriously. Telling your child they are ridiculous just puts them on the immediate defense.

4. Telling Them To Shut Up

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A tantruming child will often scream even louder when a parent says these two words, because their sense that their parent is out of control escalates the panic, and an older child will have the same sense that 'no one is in control' which turns into anger and worse sass or arguing. Saying shut up hurts your relationship with your child, as well as their self-esteem and sense of security.

5. Pointing Out What They Don't Do

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As soon as you say "You never...," your child's brain is going to be occupied with proving that they do. "Never" is an instant fight, so point out a specific instance to drive the point home.

Images: kmiragaya/Fotolia; Giphy (5)