8 Words and Phrases My Kids Are Not Allowed to Say

Stupid and shut-up are just two of the words not allowed in our home. We want our kids to have vocabulary that's pleasing to God. That's why these 8 words and phrases are off limits in our home. No kids are allowed to say them...period! A great parenting read for intentional parents!

Why Are My Kids Not Allowed to Say These Words and Phrases?

That’s a great question!

Psst! They’re also not allowed to play these games either.

And we have good reasons for it. ;0)

Even though these 8 words and phrases are super popular among kids, our kids are not allowed to say them. These words are not allowed in our home and here are our reasons! A must-read for parents who are intentional about helping their kids develop good, moral character!

All my life I grew up saying phrases like “Idiot!” and “Stupid!”

I had two brothers and we loved hurling insults at each other.

No one taught me those were inappropriate expressions.

And my friends were saying these words without blinking an eye.

My heroes on TV were spewing out curse words in every episode.

And the news was always reporting on someone who “owned” another person in a debate.

Everyone was Saying These Words and Phrases!

It was like a badge of honor to win an argument because you could spew out descriptive insults faster than the object of your detestation could respond.

I never thought twice about the expressions below until I heard the word “stupid” come out of my four-year-old son’s mouth.

And wow…

It sounded mean.

It sounded trashy.

It sounded lower than low.

Why Was My Preschooler Saying These Words?

Why would insults be coming out of my preschooler’s mouth?

Little kids’ mouths seem so pure..so innocent…

And yet, my son’s vocabulary was already becoming tainted by an unkind, ugly world.

Or was it becoming tainted because I was using these words at home?


I had to think through this parenting thing.

I had to reevaluate my vocabulary before I did more damage to my kids.

Stupid and shut-up are just two of the words not allowed in our home. We want our kids to have vocabulary that's pleasing to God. That's why these 8 words and phrases are off limits in our home. No kids are allowed to say them...period! A great parenting read for intentional parents!

By my preschooler wasn’t the only one repeating these words.

The kids in our church were too!

At one of our church’s fun family events, we arrived a bit early and I let the kids play outside for awhile.

I overhead other kids talking and playing.

These Kids Were Saying the Words Too

And they were preschoolers…

About every two minutes I would hear, “Shut-up!”

Then a mean, snarky “No, YOU shut-up!” would echo in reply.

The harsh, cutting comments were flying.

My heart and ears hurt.

But I needed this wake up call.

It was a powerful reminder that our words matter.

language that is not allowed in our home

Have You Ever Evaluated Your Family’s Vocabulary?

Maybe you should consider doing that today!

I am not here to tell you which words or phrases that should be allowed in your home.

That is between you and your husband.

But, I want to share with you our list — and the “why.”

Shouldn’t we always have a “why” for rules and standards?

language not allowed in our home

Why are the Words and Phrases Spoken in Our Home Important?

With our words, we can tear down or build up a person.

We can be scathing or we can be kind.

I want my kids to work on kindness daily — you know why?

For most of us, kindness does not come naturally.

It’s something we have to work on daily.

One simple, but powerful way we can work on kindness is thinking before we speak.

Or think of it as pausing before we speak.

Just pause…

Then reply.

Just pause…

Then speak.

words not allowed in our home

Here are some questions you can ask yourself when considering which words or phrases should be allowed in your home:

Download this free printable here.

  • Will this encourage someone?
  • Will this tear someone down?
  • Do I really need to say this?
  • Is this going to hurt my relationship with another person?
  • Do I like someone saying this word or phrase to me?
  • Why am I saying this?
  • Will I regret saying this?

After you answer those questions, jot down words that are harsh, degrading, unkind, unfit, hurtful or disrespectful.

Here is the list our family decided on years ago.

Words and Phrases My Kids Are Not Allowed to Say

“Oh My G*$!”

I cannot even type out the full phrase because it stings too much.

God’s name is such a holy, wonderful name that our family chooses to use it only when we are referencing God.

Sometimes you will hear a person say, “Thank God!” as an expression, but when our family says it, we really mean “Thank you, God!”

Take a few moments to ask yourself if God’s name is precious to you, why are you allowing it to be used in a disrespectful way?

“Shut Up!”

Wow, this one really gets to me!

How many times do you hear kids say this to each other?

Sometimes out of play, but most of the time it’s out of frustration or anger.

Even saying, “Can you PLEASE be quiet?” sounds ten times better than “Shut up!”

Take it out of your vocabulary for one week and see if you don’t cringe the next time you hear it!

“I Hate You!”

This is absolutely never allowed in our house.

Harboring hate in one’s heart against another person is sin — plain and simple.

Consider this verse: “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” I John 3:15.

God equates hatred with murder.

Yes, it’s that serious, so hatred is not condoned in our home.

“You’re Stupid!”

When these words explode in frustration, someone always gets hurt.

It’s not encouraging; only degrading.


This can never build someone up…so it’s ousted from our family’s vocabulary!

“Get a Life!”

You’re basically saying what the other person is doing with their life is worthless.


Without value.

You are sending the message that your views, goals and interests trump the other person and they are simply mundane, boring and useless.

Nope, doesn’t sound kind to my ears!

That Sucks!

This phrase is definitely not the best choice and almost always opens the door to a complaining spirit.

Teens often use this when they’re frustrated over a decision parents have made.

Not allowing this phrase to be repeated in our house greatly lessens bad attitudes and complaining!

Any Slang Words Similar to Curse Words.

When you let your child use these words (like darn, crap, freak etc.) you’re building a bridge to cussing.

Once they feel comfortable using these words, adding curse words to their vocabulary won’t be such a shocker.

It will be something they’ve eased into.

Have you ever thought about these phrases?

Do you have rules for words and phrases in your home?

What would you add to this list?

Share your thoughts in our All Things Mommy group on Facebook!

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18 thoughts on “8 Words and Phrases My Kids Are Not Allowed to Say”

  1. YES! This exactly! While the last one hasn’t ever been mentioned at our house, I don’t like it either.
    We also don’t allow ” I don’t care” when it’s being used snotty. The other one I sometimes get flack for not allowing is BORED! We have smart children and there are a million things to do, saying they are bored is the same as saying they are too lazy to do any of the other things they could be doing and usually results in chores :)

  2. Great wisdom here!
    We don’t say “Oh my gosh” in our home. I don’t personally have a problem with this phrase, but my husband and I weeded it out of our vocabulary when our 18-month-old firstborn began babbling it all. The. Time. Something about hearing it come from a baby’s mouth was distasteful to us.
    Now that our kids are older, they also can’t get away with answering our expectations with “I don’t want to.” My auto-response to this is “You don’t have to want to. You just have to do it.” :)

  3. You forgot one…. “I’m Bored!” Boredom is not an option. If these words slip the tongue, then it is because you’re not being a productive person! Get busy, stay busy! Do something good for your Parents, volunteer, or just plain get something you’ve been meaning to do, done, PERIOD!!! Have a blessed day! :)

  4. Lso, ae don’t allow the phrase, “that s*cks!” In our house. Nor do we allow any euphemisms. What’s the point of making a substitution if your mind goes to the original “bad” word anyway? There is no difference. Also, a good friend of mine (and kindergarten teacher) doesn’t allow the words “I can’t”.

  5. First and foremost, we refrain from ANY word/phrase which uses the Lord’s name in vain. Others that are not tolerated are: “you’re/that’s so retarded”, “kiss my rear/butt/etc”, and the infamous “whatever” (used in a negative way).

  6. I completely agree with these and even ban these phrases in my HIGH SCHOOL classroom. It actually makes my students very aware of their words, especially “Shut up!” and they begin to “police” each other. Loved this. Thanks.

  7. Our girls are now 26 and almost 30 years old, and even their friends to this day remember what words were not allowed in our home and bring up the subject often in a positive way – most have been mentioned already ….shut up, stupid, cr*p, bu*t (it was ‘bootie’ in our house :) ), fa*t, dumb and su*ks….. I pray they carry these rules for the “no no” words into their own family homes when the time comes!

  8. We banned a number of words in our house. One of them was “fat”, since we didn’t want our then-three year old to point out that anyone – friend or stranger – was overweight. Our in-laws’ dog, Abby, was a little hefty, through no fault of her own (she was frequently given treats!). Our kiddo mentioned this once, and said “Abigail fat?” and then looked horrified when he realized what he said, and corrected himself. “Abigail…eat too many chips?” We still outlaw ‘bored’, and ‘sucks’.

  9. Totally in agreement. We don’t say the word “mine” in our home. Everything belongs to God and he wants us to be willing to share. If you or someone else is playing with something or wants to play with something, saying “its mine” is not a valid reason for snatching it from someone. Train on, sisters. God, would you help us to give grace freely and give training gracefully so that our children will see their great need for a Savior. Amen.

  10. “Retard” and “Crazy” aren’t allowed in our home. These are two “conditions” as to which people can not control therefore, are put downs.

  11. I’m a 2nd grade teacher and a mom of 3 under 9 years old. Anytime I hear, “what the…”, although left unfinished, I just stop, and address it directly, telling the kids in my life that leaving the phrase unfinished implies an inappropriate word would follow. Another big one, that just saddens me is “loser”. I agree, kindness must be intentional.

  12. This is so encouraging to me, thank you! We have a list of “ten cent words” at our house. We must pay 10 cents to anybody who hears us say them.

  13. oh this really encouraged me! I have felt very alone in the fact that we don’t say these words either. Even in Christian/church circles they are common. We also don’t allow crap, I don’t care, whatever and just sahib’–b/c usually you are just saying something that just shouldn’t be said!

  14. Denise Swartzentruber

    Loved this. I’m glad others feel this way. I was thinking I was the only one.Any suggestions on discipline getting these out of the home.I really need help because I fight this all the time. So many Christians are saying these words.Any help I would appreciate.

  15. Pingback: 6 Things my Kids Are Not Allowed to Say to Adults - Imperfect Homemaker

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