Melody Warnick of Parenting.com has written a piece called “6 Most Annoying Things Kids Say.” In it, she recounts the words and phrases kids use that push our buttons and drive us over the edge. But as she points out, the mom who responds to”You’re not the boss of me!” with “Wanna bet?” isn’t really making things easier for herself. Not only is she not teaching her child to express herself in a courteous way, she’s lowering herself to her level and getting into a verbal sparring match in which nobody wins.
A better response, Warnick says, is one that connects to the feelings behind the words rather than the words themselves. In this case, the child feels like she has no control and by giving her choices rather than orders, she is more likely to respond positively.
That’s good advice and I’ll try to remember that if my own kid ever pulls that one me. But I don’t think she will because at the age of nine, she’s pretty much got her repertoire of annoying sayings down pat and that one doesn’t make the list.
Her thing is “Just a second,” uttered whenever she’s told to start or stop doing something. I say, “Turn off the television” and she says, “Just a second.” By this point, I don’t think she’s even listening to what I say before she gives that response. I could tell her to get in the car to go get ice cream and pick out a new puppy and she’d say “Just a second.”
My colleagues here at Strollerderby also have kids who say annoying things that didn’t make Warnick’s list. There’s the ever-popular “I’m bored,” which is usually said immediately after doing something really fun. And “So and so’s mom let’s him…(fill in the blank).” And the handy “I was just…” followed by a ridiculous explanation along the lines of “I was just waving my arms, not hitting my sister.”
Warnick’s piece is actually full of reasonable advice and well worth a read. But I’ll bet you’ve also got a gem or two of your own that didn’t make the list. Misery loves company, so feel free to share in the comments.
Image: James Jordan/Flickr
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