No Fail Parenting Phrases

With kids, especially teenagers, you might think that they were born to be lawyers. We tease my older son when he begins to “lawyer speak” us and use terms and suggest we aren’t specific enough.  We can laugh now, but it was often very frustrating!

They can seem to turn your words around on you in a second. If you are dealing with this issue, I’ve got some relief!

Below you will find out ways to phrase your words so that there is no mistake as to what you are saying to your child.

The truth of the matter is that often kids can call parents on something that they say because we, as parents, aren’t sure what we are really saying. Have you ever felt that way? It’s not uncommon.

Parents want to be friends with their children. But, as a parent, we are called to be something more – their teacher. As such we are not their friend, at least not while they are growing up. It is our job to make the hard decisions that might annoy them now, but profit them greatly in the future. In that way, our words have to be sure and purposeful as often as possible.

Pocket Phrases

“I understand that you are saying”

Repeating what your child has spoken to you lets them know that you have heard exactly what they have said. When both parties are clear on the meaning, there is less room for misinterpretation.

“Under no circumstances”

Your teenager wants to go to a party or ride in a car with a friend that you don’t know. This phrase lets them know that there is no reason why this should happen. Period!  Give them other options to use: call us, catch the bus or even stay home from the beginning. It lets them know that you will not accept any excuses from them.

“You are NOT to……”

Whatever comes next is strictly to be avoided at this time. When your intentions are clearly stated, there is no room for arguments that will bring about a change. Some rules are not to be broken at any cost.  By flat out stating what they are not to do, there is no room for misinterpretation and misunderstanding.

“The consequences will be …….”

If they disobey the rules, this is what will happen as a result. There is nothing wrong with telling them the consequences, especially if you are talking to a teenager. I have found this helpful even when dealing with my 3 year old, he understands and comprehends way more than we give him credit for at times.  They will probably think about rebelling in some cases. And, stick to these consequences. There is nothing worse than a child that believes that their parents’ words are worthless.


This phrase is often used to tell your child that no matter what they have done, something else is coming as a result. For example, they may have kept a friend from getting into a fight at a party, but they shouldn’t have been at the party in the first place so punishment is still in order.  This is a phrase that can be used so often, I love having it in my back pocket.  {One of my favorites!!}

Communicate effectively with your child. Use the phrases above and some of your own to make sure that your meaning is conveyed.

Do you have a favorite ‘go-to’ phrase?

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