Everyone has heard the old saying, "kids say the darndest things." There was even a television show based on that phrase. But in addition to saying the "darndest things," kids can also say some downright mean and traumatizing things as well. Just ask the people in the following stories.
A Reddit thread recently asked people to share the meanest things children have ever said to them. It doesn't matter if it's towards parents, teachers, or random strangers, there's no excuse for what these kids said. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"Being a dwarf, I get a lot of unflattering comments from confused and curious children. Things like, 'That man walks funny,' 'What's wrong with him' or 'What is he' are common. It used to hurt me when I was young, but I'm very used to it now.
But there was this one little girl, who had been staring daggers at me from across a shopping centre. I smiled at her and kept her in my peripheral vision, figuring she was just another kid trying to work out what my deal was, when she started striding directly towards me. I actually felt intimidated for a second, she looked so intense.
She reached me and said, angrily, 'I know you're just pretending to be a grown-up! You are just an ugly boy!'
It was not what I expected at all and I just started laughing from surprise. When her dad grabbed her and took her away (apologizing profusely) however, I couldn't help but feel a bit down. I'm just an ugly boy after all."
"I (25-year-old female) was sitting in car with my cousins (5 and 6 years old) on the way to our grandma's funeral. I was wearing a nice black shirt and dress slacks with my converse, they had on nice dresses their mom picked out. The youngest one pointed at me and said, 'Why don’t you have on nice clothes? Can’t you afford them? My mom bought us BOTH new dresses just for this.'
It took everything I had to not chew her out for her lack of manners. Instead, I informed her father later of what she said (we’re close), and he made them both come into my work the next day to apologize.
Also, their mom even texted me and said that those dresses weren’t new at all. The whole thing was a little awkward, but I am glad she didn’t get away with being so nasty."
"I had the following conversation with my 3-year-old daughter.
Me: 'Yeah sweetie?'
Her: 'When daddy gets home from work, are you going to work?'
Me: 'Yeah for a few hours. Why what’s up?'
Her: 'Oh. Good. I was hoping you were.'
Me: 'Oh yeah? Why’s that.'
Her: 'Because I want you to go away.'
Me: 'I’ll be back before dinner. I’m only going for a little bit.'
Her: 'Noooooo. I want you to go away for FOREVER.'
Me: 'You mean like... for the rest of the night?'
Her: 'No. Like. I don’t want you to come back.'
I was later informed this mostly revolved around the fact I wouldn’t allow her to jump out of the second story window so that she could 'fly like Superman,' while her father was out buying donuts.
I love the 'threenager' stage so much."
"I'm a middle school teacher. I've taught in some rough schools and have been called a lot of things over the years. One school I was at, it was a pretty constant thing - like, I'd be getting cussed out by students daily. You learn when to ignore it, and when it's an actual issue. The cussing - even being called, like, 'you white witch' - never bugged me that much. That wasn't the worst.
The worst was the school year that I was pregnant. I had this one student with severe emotional issues who was an absolute terror of a person. One day near the end of my second trimester, he yelled at me, 'I'm going to make you lose that baby!'
I've never sworn at a student and I wasn't going to start then. I immediately walked out of the classroom in order to keep my streak, straight down the hall to the principal's office, and said, 'Someone needs to go watch my classroom while I calm down so I don't lose my job.'
And then I burst into tears.
I can count on one had the number of times I've cried because of my job. That particular kid doubled my count that year.
Toward the end of the school year, I found him in the hallway, shaking and crying. I sat down next to him and patted his back while he calmed down, talked to him a little about what was happening. He was having some issues in his foster home, and it was adding to his difficulties controlling his anger with his teachers and classmates. I listened to him, told him if he needed a break he could always come to my classroom to calm down instead of doing something that would get him in trouble, and he nodded and went back to class.
After that, we were pretty solid. At the end of the school year, he told me he thought I was probably going to be the best mom ever and that my kid was going to be so lucky. I cried again."
"My younger daughter suffocated (she survived, though she stopped breathing and needed to be resuscitated) when she was 3 months old. She was sleeping and got wedged between the headboard and the mattress. I had left her alone for 15 minutes.
Years later, my older daughter was playing with the younger daughter and held a pillow over her face, and I had a panic attack once I saw it. My oldest son told her to walk away but she wouldn't, instead saying, 'She's just being dramatic.'
My son said, 'You don't know how you would feel if you had seen your baby suffocate. This is hard for Mommy and things like this make her remember.'
My daughter answered, 'I would never let my baby suffocate, I'll be a good mother.'
She was 8 years old.
My husband wanted to take her Christmas presents back; he was that irate. She apologized later but it took my breath away that she felt that much nastiness toward me."
"Not said to me, and not intentionally mean, but...
Years ago, I was visiting the zoo with my daughter's Brownie troupe. A volunteer carrying a big bunch of eucalyptus branches and leaves saw us and called us over, and explained all about how the koala bears eat these leaves. He gave a great impromptu talk, then asked for questions.
One of the scouts raised her hand so he pointed to her and set his nature-talk face to receive her now nature-loving query. Which was: 'Do people HAVE to listen to you?'
He did the funniest crestfallen look I have ever seen, and said, 'Nooooo,' and took his bundle of leaves and continued on his way."
"I went on a walk with a girl I liked, and this little girl was riding her bike. She said nothing to us and we just went on with our walk. A couple of days later, she dumped me and I went for the same walk to ease my mind.
I got to that neighborhood and that same little girl was out there riding her bike again. She started berating me, saying things like, 'Where's your girlfriend? Did she dump you because you're ugly?'
Man, I had to actually keep my cool. Part of me wanted to knock on her door and tell her parents so she would get in trouble, but I just winged it and finished my walk and never walked that way again.
Kids are mean, man."
"I was a Sunday school teacher for an eighth grade girls class. I loved them dearly, but dang, the things they said sometimes.
After I got engaged, I came to church one day with my hair pulled up in a ponytail, because I overslept and didn’t have time to shower. I’ve been told by numerous people that I apparently look like a wholly different person with my hair pulled back, and frankly, I’m aware it’s not my best look, but what can you do?
Anyway, when I walked in, one of my girls noted that my hair was back and she had never seen it up, and I joked about oversleeping and not having time to shower and 'do' my hair.
Long silence from the group.
'So...has [fiancé] seen you with your hair up before?'
'Oh! OK. Good.'
"My redneck neighbor's kid would run up and go 'Youuuuu're faaaaat' with a giant evil grin. I tried to tell him that wasn't nice, then eventually said something to his mom. She and her husband showed up at my door with five dogs on leashes and threatened to let them loose if I said anything to their kids again.
Somewhere between the three gutted Suburbans, the mud lawns, dozen or so dogs, and boarded-up windows, CPS showed up and I was absolutely to blame.
Oldest kid has three of his own, middle kid (who was almost certainly developmentally disabled looking back) hasn't been out of jail/prison since he was 16, and the youngest (the one who would run up and throw shade to me and everyone) got sent up for stealing a car when he was 12. His parents tried to run a benefit at the unlicensed biker bar across the street and lost everything in the subsequent raid. Begged for pennies on Facebook. Real nice, folks."
"I used to work for the Canadian Historical Society, and without all the boring details, my job mostly entailed going into classrooms to give a 45 minute presentation on the War of 1812.
I gave the presentation in the full costume of the Provincial Marine, and I had a bunch of props to keep the kiddies engaged; the classes were either in the sixth grade or the seventh grade, and so when they would start to zone out....bam, I bust out the cutlass and musket, and they're right back into it.
So after one of these presentations, I'm taking several trips back to my car with all the props through the hallway of the school. On the trip with the musket, I hear a tiny voice squeak out from behind me,
A little 8-year-old boy: 'Is that your musket, mister?'
I reply that it is indeed!
Boy: 'You must be a great shot!'
Me: 'And what makes you say that, little guy?'
Boy: 'Well, it doesn't look like you've missed too many meals.'
Dead pan delivery. Look of shock on my face. Then a snicker from beside me as I see the retreating face of a teacher who had poked their head out to see who the strange adult voice in the hall belonged to, just in time to see me get roasted."
"I haven’t really had any children say anything mean, but I did have a funny conversation with a kid in a store.
So I have long hair and a full beard, and the time this happened I had a cyst on my eye, so I was wearing a patch to cover it up in public. So I was at Walmart in the toy section getting a gift for my nephew when this dad and his little girl started coming down the isle. I glanced up to meet the eyes of this little girl in the basket. Just then, she exclaims:
'DADDY! LOOK! A PIRATE!'
I love messing with the little minds of children (my son is going to be messed up), so I look at her shifting up my jaw and say:
'Yaar and shiver me timbers! Ye found me out ye little land lubber. Say. I’ve been looking for a cabin boy to wash me long johns and dirty socks, would ye like to be me cabin boy?'
'But I’m a girl!' She squealed.
'Naw, we can cut ye pretty locks off and give you boy clothes to wear. As long as ye can scrub me dirty clothes and play an accordion.'
'No!' She started to giggle. 'I can’t do any of that, but my daddy can.'
'Aye, but ye da’ is too big to be a cabin boy, he would be a cabin man.'
By then, her dad was laughing his butt off and shaking his head back and forth. So I decided to wrap it up.
'Well, I best be getting back to me ship. But first I need to get some bird seed and fruit for me parrot. Farewell wee lassie and a good day to you da.’"
"It wasn't what the kids said so much as what they didn't say.
My grandparents frequently host fairly large holiday gatherings, to which my aunts and uncles often bring their young children. As is wont to happen in such settings, the kids quickly become bored... and since bored ankle-biters have a tendency to cause trouble, it usually falls to me to keep them entertained.
On one such occasion, I decided to put on a little magic show.
I frequently carry a 100 Lire coin around in my wallet, as it's the perfect size for use in magic tricks. It's also completely worthless (at least in terms of monetary value), which is a fact that works well with the patter I like to employ.
'Do you know what this is?' I asked the kids, showing them the coin.
They all shook their heads.
'It's a piece of Italian money,' I continued. I let each of them examine the metal disc, then took it back and held it up in one hand. 'Since it's such a big coin, you'd think it would be worth a lot, right? Well, the truth is, it's worth absolutely nothing... which means that really, it doesn't exist!'
With those final words, I went through the sleight-of-hand to vanish the coin, then showed the kids my empty palm.
As any magician can tell you, there's supposed to be a second part to the illusion, during which the coin reappears. I never got the chance to perform that part, though, because each of the children - probably taking a cue from the eldest of them, who was seven - rolled their eyes and wandered away. Only one of them stayed behind... and he just looked at me, shook his head, then followed his siblings.
At least the adults who'd been watching got a few laughs out of it."
"So while my wife and I were living in her parents' guest house, we'd see her niece and nephew visit a lot.
One day, I got fired from my job. And for a while after, the kids would wonder why I was home during the day.
My niece comes up to the guest house door.
Niece: 'Hey uncle? How come you're not at work?'
Me: 'I already told you, I got fired. That means they let me go and don't want me to come back to work.'
-Nephew comes up-
Nephew: 'HEY UNCLE, WHY ARE YOU HOME ALL THE TIME NOW?'
Niece: 'He did a bad job, so now they don't want him to go to work.'
Nephew: 'Why? Is he stupid?'
-Both kids wander off without letting me explain further-
Thanks kids, my self-esteem needed that.
I was working as a stocker at a big-box store at the time. I was under a lot of stress, from college and family and work. Well, one day it all just kinda exploded. I had this super aggressive breakdown where I was throwing merchandise, breaking things. I took a tire iron (still in the package) and tried to smash a few boxes in the back room.
It was bad. I'm not proud of it. But sure enough, it was seen and I was let go pretty quick. And the thing is? It all got set off because I couldn't find the right spot on the shelf for some item in the auto department.
So when my nephew said, 'Is he stupid?' That actually hurt. Because I felt really stupid for losing my temper so hard."
"Our 3-year-old son was going through several days of tantrum after tantrum. I realized soon that his mom and I were constantly giving him negative feedback, punishments, times outs/etc, to no avail. I decided that we needed to hit the reset button, so I took him aside.
'Son, do you know why mommy and daddy are angry and giving you timeouts?'
He nodded with tears in his eyes, still coming down from his latest tantrum.
'Ok,' I said, 'Why are mommy and daddy mad and yelling at you?'
'Because you're horrible,' he sobbed.
I had to fight not to laugh. But it allowed me insight to his perspective."
"I worked at an elementary before-and-after school program for a year, and took a lot of pride in it. It wasn't glamorous or special, but it took a lot of patience and effort to actually do a good job. A lot of my co-workers took the easier, 'sit on your phone and be a jerk to children' route rather than actively engaging in lessons, playtime, disputes, etc. I worked really hard to be a positive force in these kids' lives.
I was a little emotional on my last day. Did I truly make a difference? Would these kids that I cared so much about even remember me in a few years? I started my shift at 6:30 am, and there was usually only one kid who came in that early, a little kindergarten girl. She was mostly really sweet, but she was just starting a phase where she liked to be difficult for the sake of being difficult. I was making conversation about it being my last day while she was eating her breakfast and asked, 'Will you miss me when I'm gone?'
She paused, thought for a moment, then looked me dead in the eyes and said, 'No, I'll be glad when you leave.'
I think you could actually hear my heart shattering.
All the other kids were total sweethearts, and even the little girl changed her mind later, but it was a brutal start to my last day. In childcare, you grow a pretty thick skin from all the mean random stuff kids say sometimes, but even so, every once in awhile something they say can slip through and stab you right in the chest when you least expect it. Children are rewarding yet dangerous creatures."
"I was at my ex's coworker's house, and his daughter and son-in-law came over with their children. One was a young boy, around 6 or 7, I believe.
We were playing with his toys doing all the normal stuff an adult does when spending time with a child for most of the day. Towards the end of the night, we were sitting around a campfire. The son-in-law, father of the little boy, was sitting next to me and we were just talking and laughing. When his son comes up to me, sits on my lap, hugs me, and says, 'I wish you were my daddy.'
I was completely taken aback by this. I had no idea what to do. Luckily, the father was real cool, and just laughed it off. Still, I didn't feel right for hours after, and it still bothers me to this day."
"It wasn’t the meanest and I’m sure my siblings have said worse, but this one still hurts me down to the core.
I was feeling really good and confident and pretty this day at work. And then a little boy looked at me and turned and asked his mom if I was a boy or a girl. It wasn’t much of a thing. And nowadays this kind of thing doesn’t matter as much because society is more accepting of people. It was just a bad time for me and now I still get times where I look in the mirror and wonder if I look like a pre-teen boy. I’m a 23-year-old woman, but my hairstyles and chest size don’t always make that very evident and I don’t really get noticed by people who are interested in me."