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Usually, when you think of four-letter words, it’s likely you are thinking about swear words. However, in this case, there are some four-letter words that are bad words, just not in the way you would think.

When it comes to kids, words are quite powerful. You might say something that should have been taken with a grain of salt, but to your child, those words will stick with them forever. The words we use now with our kids will become their inner monologue one day in the future, and if you want to empower them, make sure that you use the right ones.

Here are 8 four letter words to never say to your child.

1. Lazy

Growing up, I remember being called lazy pretty often. Because of that, up until I began my own parenting language, I didn’t think much of it. However, when you call your child lazy, you are labeling them rather than their behavior. Unfortunately, these words can define your child’s sense of self-worth, and ultimately, you are impacting their mental health.

2. Dumb

The last thing your child needs to be called, or hear you calling them or anyone else is dumb. There again, they are going to end up internalizing this phrase and calling themselves and others ‘dumb.’ Sadly, this is yet another word that can define your child’s sense of self-worth.

3. Liar

Kids and people in general, lie. It’s not good and I am most definitely not excusing it. If you catch your child lying, it’s time to sit down and have a talk with them, not call them a liar. Unfortunately, when you call your child a liar, you are labeling them with a word that can leave a HUGE inner wound that is far worse than whatever it was your child lied about.

4. Stop

The stop is one of those phrases that leaves a lot left to be understood. If you are beginning many of your statements with the word ‘stop’ without explaining any further your child isn’t going to understand what you are telling them.

5. Diet

Be careful of how you discuss your body, your child’s body, and food. You can quite easily destroy your child’s relationship with food by going on about dieting or trying to put them on a diet. Instead, focus on creating healthy and balanced meals and staying active.

6. Baby

It’s so easy to accidentally slip up when your child is being overly sensitive and call them a baby. “Why are you crying? Sometimes you are such a baby!” However, this statement is SO emotionally invalidating. And children who are continuously invalidated are ultimately very emotionally stunted.