Why Name-Calling Your Child Is A Big No-No!

Three things that never come back: the spent arrow, the lost opportunity, the spoken word. – Willam George Plunkett

It bothers me when I read friends of mine on Facebook happily declaring “Well the brat did this today” or “my little monster turns 5.” I’ve a friend who calls her child a duffer and another calls hers a monkey!

Ever wondered what would a child feel if the parents call him/her a little demon?

“Mom/Dad already call me a brat so why not act like one!” There cannot be a situation worse than parents calling their child as Brat, Monster, Fatso, or you name it!

Labelling your child negatively is the worst thing you can do their self-worth and confidence.

So be ready to witness more monkeying around from your “monkey” and more dumb acts and low intelligence behaviour from your “duffer.” After all, you asked for it!

Sometimes, we parents call our kids the worst names without really meaning it or in a fit of rage. Correcting ourselves later on or even a sorry cannot undo the damage caused.

You’ve already made your child aware about your ‘real’ feelings for him/her and all the love you shower on your kid day and night goes for a toss.

Sad, but true!

3 reasons why you should not call your kids names:

1) Word power

Before you teach your child to mind his/her language, see what an example you’re showcasing. Words are extremely powerful. One can speak things into beings without intending to.

Children are impressionable souls, they take your words seriously, and more often than not, they want to do things to make you react.

So if you say “Don’t behave like a retard,” you’re actually telling them to do it! Try altering your statement to something like, “My sweetie pie never does this,” and start a conversation to instil appropriate behaviour.

Talk to your children and not at them. Avoid branding your kids negatively. Never be mean and say things that would hurt their feelings.

RELATED: 10 Things Not To Say To Your Child

2) Negative labelling kills self-esteem

Children need nutrition, security, love, belonging, and self-esteem—respect of others and by others. They need to be a unique individual. But never make them as unique as the ‘brat’ among other happy kids.

“Be sensitive to your child’s needs. Labelling your child negatively shatters his/her self-worth and motivates him/her to be like that.

So avoid calling your child ‘stupid,’ ‘dumbo,’ and other bad/negative names. It is an inappropriate way to talk to your child and devastates his/her psychological needs.

Some parents argue saying ‘Oh our parents called us what not and we never mind it,’ chances are that is one of the reasons for modern-day complex some parents feel,” says Seema Hingorany, a well-known clinical psychologist from Mumbai.

3) Children call others by mean names

If you as a parent is somebody who has a nickname for every kiddo in the neighbourhood, your child will learn to call other kids names.

Coming to think of it, isn’t that the start of bullying among kids? Nothing to be proud of something you have given them!

So if your child describes other kids as ‘mosquito face’ or ‘hippo,’ tell them it is a bad thing to do. How would he/she feel if other people call him/her names?

Now that you know the ill-effects of negative labelling or name-calling, imagine how positive labelling can do wonders to your child’s self-esteem and mood!

There is a fine line between nicknames and ‘mean’ names for your child. What say? Post your comments now!


  1. LisaMarie

    It’s a beautifully written commentary with so many excellent points… it definitely gave me food for thought- which I appreciate :). The only thing I disagreed with is calling a child lil monkey or lil bear or lil goose. I think names of endearment are perfectly exceptable.

  2. Saakshi Dubey

    A very thoughtful post. I have been trying to explain these points to my in laws who repeatedly call my son donkey, owl, monkey. Though it is all out of love and affection but it’ll surely have a negative impact on him.

    1. Sumitra

      Hi Saakshi, glad your like the article. Thank you for sharing your view. =)

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