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Sunday, July 31, 2011

9 Things You Shouldn't Say to Your Children just posted a very insightful article on 9 things I should never say to my kids.  Sadly, I have said every single one.

So here is my take and personal experiences with these 9 deadly phrases (and to the author's credit, it was a very nicely done article and I am solely attacking it for comedic purposes).

'Leave me alone!'
I have said these words in some fashion.  It usually involves a few scenarios, typically involving the bathroom.

We have a separate toilet area, a water closet if you will.  I find myself often wedging my foot against the door while using this area to prevent surprise attacks.

Yes, that's right.  Sometimes I like to take a dump without an audience.  My children see this as a prime opportunity, since I am trapped, to have discussions.  I do not share this perception with them.

I have also used similar phrases when I'm getting out of the shower.  We do not have a separate door on our main bathroom area, so unless I lock down the bedroom (which one time resulted in my son getting a ladder to get the key off the high shelf to make sure I was okay-- no joke), I frequently have an audience when I step out naked from the shower.  I don't even like to see myself naked.  My children should not be tortured with this either.  It brings up too many questions.

'You're so...'
Dramatic.  Zoe is dramatic.  It gets old.  It gets really, really old.  She also is very, very funny.  And very, very smart.  We also say nice things. I  think it outweighs the bad stuff.

'Don't cry'
I'm sorry, if your free lollipop is cherry and not orange, suck it up.  Literally.

If your leg is broken, your feelings hurt, sob like there's no tomorrow.

My daughter enjoys crying.  It is part of her dramatic personality.  We have a rule, no crying at the table.  She often will excuse herself to go "cry it out" in the living room and returns when she is done.  To quote her: "Sometimes it just feels good to cry."  True, however, it does not feel good for the rest of us to listen to or watch.  Especially if it's not any thing important.  Like your food touching.  Or that carrots are orange.

Again, I will hold your hand and wipe your tears for big issues, but if you're doing it for attention, good luck.

'Why can't you be more like your sister?'
My children are nothing alike except for both being smart.  Even with that, they are very smart in different ways.  My daughter is a phenomenal artist.  My son is amazingly analytical.

Therefore, this phrase works out really well.  Skip can sulk and tries to be cool.  His sister is one, passionate little burst of energy.  Sometimes we need him to drop the sullen, cool kid attitude and jump in like his little sister.  Sometimes Zoe, Miss Academy Award Future Winner, needs to take it down a notch.

If I can't create a sense of sibling rivalry to benefit me, what was the point in having more than one child?

'You know better than that!'
You do.  You knew that if you dropped your toy out the window it was gone forever.

You know that sticking your hand in the door jam was not a good idea.

You know that you need to do your homework.

You know it because I've told you 20 times.

'Stop or I'll give you something to cry about!'
Okay, I will say that I have said this. It is usually in a joking manner.

If I'm not joking, it's not because I'm going to go postal on them, it's because they are going to lose something.  You are mad that the dog ate the crayons you left out?  Keep up the whining and I'll take them ALL away.

I am mad.  Now go away and be like your brother.

'Wait till daddy gets home!'
My husband's fuse is shorter.  He is 6'5".  Need I say more?

'Hurry up!'
I do think that if we are running late 90% of the time it's my fault for not starting earlier.  We did go through a phase where we could not get out of the house prior to 8:30 am no matter what time we started.

I found that just getting in the car, turning it on and backing out worked much better than yelling "Hurry up!" but honestly, the words have slipped because well, they need to hurry up.

'Great job!" or "Good girl!'
Huh?  I think this was meant to discourage overzealous praise.  Every day I tell my kids they are fabulous and I'm happy to be their mom.  They may be overindulged and overconfident and I don't care.  They ARE fabulous and I'm happy to be their mom.  Some days more than others, but honestly, if my biggest mistake is telling them they are great, oh well.  I don't tell them this when they are putting their clothes in the hamper or dishes in the sink- they are supposed to do that.  Every A, even though it's expected, is appreciated.

So clearly, I will not win Mother of the Year based on this article.  I'm good with that.  If I can get it right at least half the time, I'm exceeding my own very low expectations of my mothering.

And if you have a problem with that, well just wait until my husband gets home.

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