35 Cruel Things Parents Have Said To Their Kids — According To A Viral Twitter Thread

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Parents scolding child

Many social media users on Twitter are remembering chilling and unfortunate memories from their childhood. 

In a tweet that has gone viral with over 190,000 likes and over 11,000 replies, Twitter users are recalling “cruel” things said to them by their parents that they still think about to this day.

Why do so many people remember a “cruel” moment from their parents?

What made the tweet go viral and why do so many users on Twitter have a similar story?

Children are lost in the world and don’t know much about it. They have a deep dependency on their parents to guide them and to rely on them for safety when things get tough. Although at times they feel they may be helping their children, parents could actually be traumatizing them.

According to Jacob Brown, a psychotherapist in San Francisco, parents may unintentionally rob their children of that sense of safety and it could have a lasting effect as demonstrated by the viral tweet.

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Brown said that parents can cause verbal trauma in three main, different ways. They are criticism, abandonment and fear. For example, if a child is called “fat” consistently, they will eventually begin to believe it. When a child is ignored by their parents for misbehaving, the sense of feeling invisible could be alienating. For fear, parents who teach their children that everything is a danger may live the rest of their lives in fear and always looking over their shoulders.

Below are 35 of the most traumatizing things said to children by their parents.

1. “My dad tossed a glass of ice water in my face at my daughter’s 1st birthday, in front of all my friends and neighbors, because when he made a fat joke about me, I shot back with an asshole joke about him. That was almost 7 years ago and it still makes me feel sick to think about.” - @MichelleEgan84

2. “My grandmother has always called me fat, and told me I need to lose weight. I was literally 10 years old and aware that my body was wrong, no wonder it’s so hard to love myself now” -@zambievibes

3. “I had visible scars, and was scared people would see them when I was swimming. ‘Go out, show the world what you've done. You should be ashamed.’ That's what my mom said to me…” -@thhsystem

4. “‘I wish it had been you instead of your brother.’ -Mother. About a week after he died in an automobile accident; 29 years ago.” - @jecollis

5. “Age 7, parents were hungover, I offered to make coffee. Followed instructions literally = fill water to line, add ground coffee, place basket in pot, turn on percolator. They didn't say add coffee *to basket.* ‘How could you be so STUPID?!’ still rings in my ears, 55 yrs later.” -@socalbeachwalkr

6. “Almost 10 years ago my mom, with one of my aunts in the car, told me that she was mad at me because her assaulty husband couldn't trust ME in the house and HE didn't feel safe after she made me come there, and that she could've and should've aborted me when she had the shot.” -@MelaninMa6ic

7. “My mom embarrassed me in front of the boy next door and asked him ‘do you think she’s ugly ?’ And he said yes she turned to look at me and said ‘see you ugly to him too’ I was about 9” -@LachellStephens

8. “When I was 4ish, I told my mother I was lonely. She told me I had almost had a baby brother when I was 2, but I behaved so badly that I made her sick and he died in her tummy.” -@Plumpdn

9. “‘You were an accident. You were never meant to be born. You ruined my life.’ Then after a beating, I'd go to school and get beat up by bullies. I'd ask why they did that to me and they'd say, ‘Because you were born.’ I got a lot of mental issues from that.” -@Brooklyn__Ann

10. “When I was 13, my dad told me that no one would ever love me, and if someone did, they'd eventually see how evil and twisted I am on the inside and then they'd leave. I'm 25 now and it still hurts just as much.” -@taylor_revert

11. Got accepted to Uni after struggling really hard in high school (ADHD & trauma stuff). When I asked my dad to help me figure out $$ he told me I should go to community college & that I ‘wasn't worth the investment’. It took me 10 yrs to get a degree w/out his help. But I did it. -@BrainRockets

12. “Yeah. My dad used to call me stupid on the regular and used to tell me i would never amount to anything, one time he made me piss my pants because i couldn't say 60 without stuttering and years later my mom told me that she can see why some moms throw their babies in the trash” -@PLANETBUBU258

13. “My dad: ‘Well, maybe you don't DESERVE a PhD.’ I dropped out of my program a couple of months later, after 12 years (7 spent struggling to finish my diss). I was already considering quitting when he said it, but it still was the single most hurtful thing he could've ever said.” -@snowdenbecker 

14. “I was trying on dresses for a band concert in 9th grade and one was a slinky dress with a sheer overlay. I came out of the dressing room and my mom said, ‘Looks like biscuit dough rising.’ She’d never made a comment about my body that way and it felt like a slap.” -@artwormsbrown

15. “My mom does this very few months. The latest was when I told her I was going to learn guitar, and she asked me why and said I’m too old and I’ll never be good anyway. I haven’t been able to pick up the guitar since then.” -@thebeerbitch

16. “when my mom told me (after a sui attempt) to do it in the street or to be homeless instead of doing it in her home because my death will embarrass her job (she works for the police) and itll make her look bad :’)” -@angieIeaks

17. “After I had twins, I didn’t lose the weight. My parents joined us for an evening thing and we all dressed up and I was feeling quite fancy, and my dad said, ‘You used to be so pretty.’ Never have lost the weight, but I did stop putting any weight in Dad’s opinion.” -@Vivien_Jackson

18. “I gave my mom a copy of the journal that published my first poem. She read it then handed it back to me. I told her she could keep it. She shook her head and said, ‘I'll never read it again.’ OUCH.” -@WordPerv

19. “My mom would be rude af when she didn't like what I was wearing or how I did my hair etc. Told me I looked like a wet dog with straight hair. Was mad that I really REALLY liked these pair of jeans so she got a size too big so they would fall off me when I ran. Only wore them once” -@_emiliemichelle

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20. “she was arguing with me one day, belittling my self-harm habits and shooting down any attempt to reason, then proceeded to tell me to ‘dunk my head in the toilet’.” -@dekocola

21. “Ughhh...too many. One of the ones I categorize as ‘less bad’ is my dad calling me ‘lardass’ in front of a bunch of people because I, a ten year old, asked for a leg-up on a horse.” -@lynnxe

22. “My dad regularly called me an elephant because I could be clumsy. It was a vicious circle: the more he made me nervous, the clumsier I got. Plus other priceless gems, like calling me an idiot if I wasn’t fast enough on the uptake. My mother commented on my weight, both ways.” -@AncaMaraScribes

23. “Mine said I was too chubby when I was nine. 9!!! Because of her own weight insecurities. ‘I’m just looking out for you’. I actually was a normal weight. I battled with an ED for YEARS after that. I still have trouble with it in adulthood.” -@AloneNTheGarden

24. “I remember when I was struggling with anxiety and I tried to seek comfort from my mom by telling her how I feel, she told me that I shouldn't be anxous because my anxiety/sadness makes her feel bad. She always said ‘But do you know how I feel?’” -@the_rinezie

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25. “Over 20 years ago. I was under 10 and chose the same bathing suit as my sister. Mum said it wouldn't suit my body. I tried it on at home and wrote her a note saying ‘you were right can we change it’. Her response ‘no, you made your choice’ I didn't enjoy the water that summer” -@rhi333

Over 20 years ago. I was under 10 and chose the same bathing suit as my sister. Mum said it wouldn't suit my body. I tried it on at home and wrote her a note saying 'you were right can we change it. Her response 'no, you made your choice' I didn't enjoy the water that summer

— Rhi she/her (@rhi333) May 4, 2021

26. “I remember a lot of cruel things my mom has said to me. One time she told me if her and my dad ever got a divorce it would be my fault. Probably why it’s hard to buy a nice Mother’s Day card for her. We have a better relationship now but I still hold a lot of animosity” -@alprazosam18

27. “As a kid I was sometimes devastated because I had a hard time getting people to listen to me. My dad said it was because I talked too much and no one was interested in what I had to say. I have severe social anxiety and blurt out a lot of things that are unnecessary.” -@freestylwalking

28. “Was making ramen noodles for my friend who had come over and my dad walked in and and berated me for eating so close to dinner ‘You’re always talking about wanting to lose weight, maybe you’d actually get somewhere if you weren’t eating a whole meal as a snack’ I was maybe 150lbs” - @alakaSAMM_

29. “my mom has always responded to me liking anything she doesn't like with ‘people will think you're weird. do you want people to think you're weird?’ so angry too. just tell me you don't want to know me lmfao” -@nvrlernd2_reid

29. “My sister had just been born & I made a pillow for her. All hand stitched using scrap fabric, proper stuffing etc. Never made anything before in my life. My mum woke up & I proudly showed it to her. She said my sister couldn’t use it & undid all the stitching. I was 12” -@nathanieloffer

30. “Not to me but I overheard my mom telling her best friend she was amazed I graduated high school. To my face she spent an entire weekend telling me I couldn’t handle law school & was too old. I’ll be 32 when I enter law school. Not too old” -@fmnsthist89

31. "’You're crazy! Get real!’ in response to me expressing fear of their new boyfriend who many times has said people like me should be exterminated - in front of her, no less. Thanks Mom. Happy Mother's Day.” -@IllCaesarer

32. “When she tried to teach math but i couldnt understand so she decided to say that she doesnt even wanted me, if she could abort me,she want it. Got me thinking until now. I was 8 and now im 20 and still feels unwanted and a burden ;)” -@winsleo_

33. “my mom used to say i looked like my dad when i was angry, then she’d talk abt how she hated how he looked and just. how much she hated him in general. :/ now whenever i feel insecure or even when i’m angry i get upset bc i hate the guy probably more than she does lmao” -@tealfanta

34. “’You know, I honestly always thought college was just a pipe dream for her’. Said to me at 16 and my college admissions counselor. It still hurts. All my life I was encouraged to go to college, but turns out it was all lies. I felt like no one really believed in me.” -@AndreaNaegele

35. “I was helping my dad replace the hinge on my car's front door. I'm not strong, and I was struggling to hold the door up on my own. He got mad that I couldn't lift the door up high enough and told me ‘you're weak because you're lazy’.” -@Eternity24601

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Tomás Diniz Santos is a writer living in Orlando, Florida. He covers news, entertainment, and pop-culture topics.