kids parents shut upWhether they're yelling while you're on an important phone call, interrupting you while you talk to a friend, or shouting far louder than you can stand while you're trying to enjoy your morning coffee, kids can wear you down. So much so that you reach your breaking point and scream, "Shut up!"

And then you immediately feel guilty that you've scarred your kid for life.

We've all been there. But exactly how worried should we be? Could we be doing some kind of serious damage to our kids with one little phrase?

It's unlikely.

If it only happens once, chances are you won't scar your child for life, according to Amy Morin, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in Lincoln, Maine.

Phew. So there's that.

But there are a few reasons you should try to, uh, shut up before you say "shut up."

For one thing, losing your cool could make you lose control of your kids. When you yell, "you show your child that they have power over you," says Morin. Instead of regaining control as an authority figure, you've actually lost it. Now your kids know the perfect way to push your buttons.

Another reason to keep quiet?

"Most parents wouldn't like their child to say 'shut up' to them, so there's no point in the parents saying it to the kid," she says. "Unless you're absolutely okay with your child saying it to you, their friends or their teacher, it probably shouldn't be in your vocabulary."

Good point.

Do you ever tell your kids to "shut up"?