8 Things To Never Tease Your Child About

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Written By Olivia Miller

Author at Montessori Expert.

Why Teasing Your Child Can Backfire.

We all know the feeling – the playful jab, the teasing meant to be lighthearted. But sometimes, that laughter we crave turns into a sting that lingers.

This is especially true for our children, those precious little beings who are still forming their sense of self.

This article isn’t about micromanaging fun. It’s about understanding how teasing, even with the best intentions, can chip away at a child’s confidence.

Here’s the eight things you should never tease your child about.

8 Things To Never Tease Your Child About

1. Appearance

two individuals standing next to each other in front of a wall

Your child’s appearance is as unique as their personality, and it’s essential to celebrate every freckle, dimple, and quirk.

Teasing them about their looks can plant seeds of insecurity that take root deep within. Remember, beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.


Avoid teasing phrases like: “Why do you have such big ears?”

2. Intelligence

Your kiddo might not be a maths master or a spelling bee champion, and that’s perfectly okay. Teasing them about their intelligence can crush their curiosity and eagerness to learn.

Instead, foster a love for knowledge and celebrate their efforts, no matter the outcome.


Avoid teasing phrases like: “You’re so slow at understanding things.”

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3. Family Dynamics

Family is the heart of everything, and teasing your child about family matters can shake their sense of belonging and security.

Whether it’s divorce, adoption, or blended families, approach these topics with sensitivity and openness.


Avoid teasing phrases like: “You’re not even part of this family!”

4. Gender Identity

Gender stereotypes have no place in your child’s world. Teasing them about their gender expression can stifle their self-discovery journey and create confusion about who they truly are.

Let them explore and express themselves freely, without judgement or ridicule.


Avoid teasing phrases like: “Why are you playing with dolls? That’s for girls.”

5. Emotions

a girl child in overalls making an angry face

Your child’s emotions are valid, no matter how big or small they may seem. Teasing them about their feelings can teach them to suppress their emotions, leading to difficulties in expressing themselves later in life.

Create a safe space for them to share their joys, fears, and everything in between.


Avoid teasing phrases like: “Why are you crying over something so silly?”

6. Dreams and Aspirations

Every dream starts with a spark of imagination, and it’s crucial to nurture your child’s aspirations.

Teasing them about their dreams can extinguish that flame and rob them of their passion and drive. Encourage them to reach for the stars and support them every step of the way.


Avoid teasing phrases like: “You’ll never be a famous artist. Stop wasting your time.”

7. Friends and Relationships

Friendships and relationships play a significant role in your child’s social development.

Teasing them about their friends or romantic interests can damage their trust and confidence in forming meaningful connections. Instead, foster open communication and respect for their choices.


Avoid teasing phrases like: “You’re hanging out with them? They’re so weird.”

8. Body Changes

Puberty is a rollercoaster of changes, both physical and emotional, and it’s essential to guide your child with empathy and understanding.

Teasing them about their developing bodies can fuel insecurity and shame. Offer reassurance and support as they navigate this transformative journey.


Avoid teasing phrases like: “Why do you have so many pimples? You look gross.”

Why You Shouldn’t tease your kids on those things

a mom and a girl child sitting on a couch
  • Teasing can negatively impact their self-esteem and confidence.
  • It may create insecurities about their appearance, intelligence, or other aspects of their identity.
  • Teasing can lead to feelings of shame, embarrassment, or inadequacy.
  • It might hinder their emotional development and ability to express themselves freely.
  • Teasing can strain the parent-child relationship and erode trust.
  • It may perpetuate harmful stereotypes and gender norms.
  • Teasing can discourage exploration and experimentation, stifling their creativity and ambitions.
  • It can contribute to a hostile or unsupportive environment at home, affecting their overall well-being.


Parenthood is a beautiful dance of love, laughter, and sometimes, unintentional hurt. By being mindful of the things we tease our children about, and replacing those moments with positive reinforcement, we can create a safe and nurturing environment.

Remember, the playful banter that strengthens friendships between adults can have a different impact on a child’s developing sense of self. Let’s choose our words carefully, because the most precious gift we can give our children is the unwavering belief in their own worth.

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