39 Times Parents Inflicted Emotional Damage On Their Kids With The Stupid Stuff They Told Them

The internet isn’t all fun and games. While a large portion of it is killing time content, some of it tackles the more difficult aspects of life. And AskReddit, one of Reddit’s bigger subreddits, is no exception.

Recently, there were talks of the worst things parents can ever say to their children that would be so devastating so as to destroy their self-esteem for the rest of their lives.

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Scroll down to read the top answers from the now-viral post, and while you’re at it, throw in your two cents into the discussion below.

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I went out a couple of times with a girl who was adopted while we were both in high school. One time I was over the house, she and her mom got into an argument, and her mom yelled out something along the lines of “Now I know why your parents put you up for adoption”.

Never in my life have I heard anything half as cruel.

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I have custody of my 8 year old granddaughter. She was placed with me just weeks after her 6th birthday. During the time before her parents rights were terminated, they had visitation. My granddaughter had long hair that she hated having brushed. I asked her if she would like it short and she said she would but her momma wouldn’t like it. Well, we got it cut anyway. She was so happy with it! I figured her mom would at least pretend to like it because the kiddo was so excited. NOPE. Mom flat out told her she hated it. Absolutely crushed that child.

In just another couple of weeks the adoption will be final, so yeah. Her mom is a c**t.

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Was over at a friend’s house one day. Her mother called her into the kitchen to yell at her about *how* she stacked the plates in the cupboard. She did the dishes without being asked, dried them, put them away, and was STILL in trouble for it. I walked into the kitchen just in time to hear, “I knew I should’ve killed myself when I found out the abortion failed.”

*That was like a brick wall to us both.* I called my mother to come pick me up and told her what happened. My friend stayed with us for the next couple of nights after that. Her mother told mine, “Keep her. I don’t care. I’m tired of looking at her stupid face anyway. She can’t do anything right.”

She spent the entire time at my house anxiously waiting for my mother to snap at her for something, while my mother spent the entire time trying to make her understand that she’s safe there.

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Why didn’t you get an A. I got an A-. Nope. A+. Nope. Got 100%. Why didn’t you get extra credit. That’s when I gave up.

My kid is a straight A student. Not one B. She’d get a 92 and the wife started that same BS my dad pulled. Nipped that in the bud.

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“I wish I had aborted you.”

God, that hit me like a sword

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My parents always knew exactly how long it was until my 18th birthday, and would remind me that I’d be on my own when it arrived. It was the sword of Damocles hanging over my head, my whole childhood. I knew in my bones that I was not wanted or welcome, and that they looked forward to being free of me.

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“Please God. Please just let her [unalive herself] already.” I overheard my mother praying this to God about 6 months before an attempt that led to 1.5 years in a hospital and 6 months in a group home… ??

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“You are not depressed, there is nothing wrong with you. You are just lazy and make up excuses all the time.”

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A direct quote from my mom “everyone else has normal kids. What did I do get get stuck with you?”

Me: should’ve used a condom and not abuse me. You get what you invest in

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Someone blaming the child for something like a divorce happening. – Someone did that to my daughter and she won’t say who. But I tell her every time it’s not her fault and it’s mine and her mom’s fault. She cries every time she says it’s her fault we aren’t together. I don’t know who is saying that to her but they need their a*s kicked for it.

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“It’s your fault my life is so messed up.”

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Children are meant to be seen and not heard.

Decades later it still doesn’t feel natural to speak up.

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I was chubby for a portion of my childhood. At one point my dad told me other kids would mistake me for a girl because I was growing breasts because of my weight.

Who needs bullies at school when your parents can just come up with the worst insults?

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“Why can’t you be like (insert name of cousin/neighbor/classmate/any random human being)?”

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When child is showing any type of emotion and the parent says what is wrong with you in a disgusted manner

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“ you’re so smart, but so lazy! If you just applied yourself….”

If I had a proper DX as a kid my life would he easier too >,>


My mother told me almost every day that I was the reason she couldn’t go to college and become a lawyer.

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Dad used to make pig sounds when I ate. He still does it and I’m 39.

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My dad used to make all of his kids and my mom run laps in the yard to lose weight. This started when I was 10.

He told me that “nobody would be your friend if they saw you in a swimsuit” at 8 when I got invited to a pool party at a friends house.

As you can imagine, I struggle pretty hard with body image issues. These are the absolute tip of the iceberg of what that man has said to me.

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Wait until your dad gets home. Sure. Make the kid affraid of his dad. My late mom used to hate when she heard a mom say that.(or her dad)

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“I brought you into this world. I give you a roof over your head” In response to any protests of any kind from the child. Like, is that why you have children? To lord it over their heads that you gave them life till the end of your days?

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My grandma used to tell my mom in the 80s “you look frumpy, men don’t like that”. She’s made sure to NEVER say anything like that to me.

Side note, my mom has always thought she looked frumpy, matronly, and fat because of her moms words, to this day even though my grandma has been gone 10 years. It wasn’t ever true. Her damn wedding dress fit my waist when I was a normal sized 12 year old, for gods sake

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Your brother/sister never gives me such difficulty…

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My Dad called me a fat s**t when I was 15. Little did he know, I ate food for comfort because neither one of my parents acknowledged my existence.

Calling me fat was his favorite insult. I remember it from as early as 9.

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Dad: I hope you f**k better than you cut grass or your future wife is going to be miserable

Me a 12 year old: …

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“Why are you so emotional”

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Growing up my mom always told us “I love you but that doesn’t mean I have to like you” and tbh that still f***s with me at 25 ?

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‘You’d be so pretty if you lost weight.’

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“You just WANT there to be something wrong with you.”

Diagnosed autism age 24 and ADHD age 29.

It was pure gaslighting because she dragged me around various pediatricians and therapists for years begging them to tell her what was wrong with me. When they couldn’t give her an answer she decided I was just inherently lazy, pessimistic, oppositional. When I tried describing my executive dysfunction to her she handed me that lovely nugget.

Also, “Why can’t you be more like [friend]?”

And her constantly checking out books from the library titled s**t like “how to handle your out of control teen” also made me feel a certain kind of way.


“You’ll never be able to do that.”


“You’ll never amount to anything.”

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“Stop complaining, others have had it much worse than you!”


“We only had all you kids for the tax write-off.”

Ex’s dad said that to him as a teen. Thirty years later it was still affecting his relationship with his parents.


I’ve heard, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it” personally

Image credits: Enough-Serve-7790


“How can you be so *stupid*?”


Heard the ole “men are dogs. Worse than dogs. I never wanted you. You ruined my life” spiel so much it kind of lost all its luster the older we got.

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“I’ll kill you.” Like in the literal sense.


“you’re gonna eat all that?”

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Both have said if they could do it over again they wouldn’t have kids.

Image credits: Squash-Reasonable


my dad, a chaplain in the Air Force for over 25 years and a current pastor who everyone thinks is the bees knees, told me that I was too self centered to kill myself, completely shattering any illusion i had that he loved me or wanted to see me free of pain. the sad thing is I thought he was one of the most compassionate people I knew up to that point, he’d adopted my siblings and me, and i bet on that he never thought Id deal with pain from trauma like this, until he reiterated it a few months ago.
Source: boredpanda.com

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