1. We'll see. Usage: In response to a repeated request for a toy unicorn or any small item your child can't live without. Translation: Maybe not. Maybe never. I just don't have the energy to keep arguing so I'm going to give you this vague promise.
|She finally did get her toy unicorn and took this picture of it.|
3. Mommy's just a bit frustrated. Usage: after a verbal blow-up. Best accompanied by an "I'm sorry." Translation: moms have bad days, too. Kids need to know we're not perfect (as in "really not perfect").
4. This is the last time I ask you to do this. Translation: This is probably really the third to last time I ask you. I've already asked five times. Consider this as a warning that there may be a blow-up (which may lead to a #3 statement).
5. How many times do I have to tell you? Usage: When the child still hasn't brushed her teeth/hair/put on her coat. Translation: Like #4, there will probably be at least two more warnings.
6. One day you'll understand (when you have a strong-willed child just like you!). Implied meaning: And I hope you'll call me and ask, how did you do it mom?
|Me in my toddler years. I only *looked* sweet and innocent.|
8. I already said no. Already asked, already answered,as this parenting advice column suggests, could be a strategy for nagging. Translation: Please stop asking because you (should) already know the answer.
9. Alright. Usage: In my family this is the precursor to a command and J won't have any of it anymore. She doesn't like the implied tone of "let's get down to business" and told me to no longer say "alright" at the beginning of my phrases when it's bath time. So I'm switching to "ok" or "time for your bath" etc.
10. I'm going to get angry. Translation: In other words, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Or, I already am angry but I've been holding it in. Soon you'll be hearing #3.
But the most important thing moms and dads should say is...
I love you. No translation needed. But it's implied in the ten statements above, because if we didn't care enough to get angry and show our kids how to behave, they'd turn into monsters who were socially unacceptable. Dr. Spock (the baby one, not the Vulcan) backs me up on this. So keep on lovin' and teaching them manners, but as kindly as possible.
What did your parents always say to you? What do you say to your kids or nieces and nephews.