10 Words to Avoid in Front of Your Kids

Out of the mouths of babes . . . As parents, we know that anything that's uttered within earshot of our kids is fair game for repetition. And while eliminating all of those four-letter favorites is a no-brainer, there are plenty of others that can be just as damaging. Here, the 10 words we suggest that you ban from your vocabulary in front of your kids.

1. Hate: You might be talking about rush hour traffic, a line at the grocery store, or a bad commercial on TV. But when it's used to talk about a classmate, teacher, or birthday gift, "hate" can be terribly hurtful.

2. Stupid: There's not much that's less appreciated than being called "stupid," and this is one that lil ones tend to enjoy repeating . . . again and again and again.

3. Retard: A word that's so offensive, there's an entire website devoted to banishing it. If you haven't already done so, you should get on board and eliminate the R-word from your adult vocabulary as well.

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4. Gay: Unless your child is old enough to have a conversation about homosexuality, chances are, the word "gay" is going to be misused in a potentially hurtful (not to mention, incorrect) manner.

5. Loser: With bullying at the forefront of most parents' minds, putting down someone's self-esteem is something that you, and your kids, should never be a part of.

6. Dumb: See above.

7. No: We know you're not actually going to eliminate the word "no" from your repertoire. But try to limit its frequency. It seems to roll off the tips of toddlers' tongues way too easily.

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8. Shut up: Make this a forbidden phrase now to avoid its overuse later. Tweens tend to enjoy overusing it at times when it doesn't even really make sense (think: "He asked her out?! Shut up!").

9. God (as in "Oh my God!"): If religion is present in your home, the word "God" will be, too. However, try not to use it as an exclamation of excitement or surprise. Even if "Oh my God!" doesn't bother you personally, you never know when it will come off offensive to someone else.

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10. Bad: Like "no," it's one that's inevitably going to come up, but shouldn't be used excessively. Being told that you're "bad" repeatedly can be totally demoralizing for a child (or anyone, for that matter).


This article originally appeared on LilSugar.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Circle of Moms.

Comments (97)

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Comments (97)
  • Kayla - commented on Nov 30, 2012

    @Riche - So because you're insecure and you seem to not teach your children about confidence and accepting your weight/self and being secure,confident and happy in your own body and teach your children to feel the same about themselves, other people can't use the adjective fat? What do you propose people use? "Overweight"? "Big?" "Plump"? "Large?" Chances are, this really isn't about the word fat alone. It's about addressing your weight and that's YOUR problem. You wouldn't be happy with any of the adjectives for a person being overweight. Maybe you should just love yourself & teach your children to do the same.

  • Carmen - commented on Aug 27, 2012

    We teach the meanings of words to our children, and how they can be interpreted. We teach compassion in our home. Name calling is unacceptable, but to ban words is ridiculous. Teach responsibility. Teach respect, not ignorance..

  • Kelly - commented on Aug 22, 2012

    This is ridiculous. Almost every word in the english language can be used to hurt someone in some way. Sometimes it is simply tone of voice or rolling of eyeballs. I am focusing on teaching my children tolerance, acceptance of who they are and of those around them, love, respect, etc. I am focusing on teaching my children what they should say. I find no real value on focusing on negatives...don't do this, or that. Focus on positives and they will too. My husband and I both cuss and apologize regularly. We also teach our children you don't have to be perfect to be loved and accepted, and that God made us imperfect. It is not the word you use, it is the way you use it...and use it POSITIVELY!

  • Tara - commented on Jun 13, 2012

    I don't think all of these words need to be removed from a person's vocabulary. What I do think is that parents need to teach their kids how to use them properly if they have an issue with these words. As for "oh my god", I find nothing wrong with that. If there is a god, do you really think he/she cares? A god would have better things to do.

  • Jennifer - commented on Jun 13, 2012

    I agree with all of them - some words are just better not being said!

  • Katie - commented on May 31, 2012

    How do I get my 5 year old to stop telling my 2 year old "your bad" all the time? I tell her over and over again not to say it! I don't even know where it came from, I never say it to him!

  • Mac - commented on Apr 19, 2012

    OMG can also be "Oh my goodness!"

  • Shannon - commented on Apr 17, 2012

    I think #9 is silly, and should be replaced with "Fat". Not everyone is religious. One of the people in the comments actually posted, "OMG! Thank you for #9!" Um, you just did the thing that you're saying you are against. ANYWAY, "Fat-shaming" is much more pervasive and hurtful in our society. As a concept, it's much more harmful to let kids think that it's okay to harass people for their weight. Somebody else in the comments said "normal" and I think that's a good one to. Children need to be taught to celebrate each other's differences. Another concept that gets over used is "right" as in, doing things the "right" way, as if there is only one right way. People are different and do things differently, and that's okay! We aren't always going to agree on everything, but respecting other people is not as complicated as we adults tend to make it seem.

  • Riche - commented on Apr 10, 2012

    "FAT" should be added to the list. I'm nearly 40 & I still have issues w/ my weight. The last thing I will say in front of my child is, "I'm so fat." I will think it.... but those words have never been spoken from my lips. I don't ever want her to feel like I do all the years w/ in eating disorder, nor do I ever want her to put that judgement on anyone else.

  • Patricia - commented on Apr 9, 2012

    I love the words you have chosen. They are all words I cringe at the usage of. I am especially grateful and pleasantly surprised that you added "oh my ***" as it is EXTREMELY offensive to me and I find that most people use it often. Thank you!