Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Language of Parenthood

I've thought about the language I use around the children a bit recently.

I don't mean that sort of language, bad language, but just the general sort of things I say.

The teen boy asked me a question the other day (I can't remember what the question was exactly, they ask me so many, but it probably started with the words "can I"), and my answer was "maybe".

"Yesss!!!" exclaimed the teen.

"What do you mean, Yes?" said I.  "I said maybe!"

"But when parents say "maybe" then that usually means they are going to let you do something anyway".

He had a point.  I use the word maybe like a kind of place holder - when I want to say yes, but I've got to speak to DH first and check to see whether what it is I'm saying yes to is a) too expensive, b) too ridiculous or c) too inappropriate.  I have to say, as far as the teens go I have no idea most of the time, and it's good to have a second opinion isn't it?

There are loads of other things I say, which sound like one thing but which mean something completely different, so for future family reference, I've complied a handy guide.

Maybe - Yes but let me check with your father first because I'm really not 100% confident in my parenting abilities.

In a minute - Go away and leave me alone

Next time - next time we come here/do this I'm hoping that you'll have forgotten that you've asked me

Soon - Never

No - No, no, no, oh OK yes. Anything to stop your moaning.

Why don't we do it after school? - No, I really don't want to do this now and after school you'll be too tired with any luck

If you don't do *insert name of task with improbable likelihood of being completed here* then I'll turn off the WiFi/the electricity supply to the plug sockets in the house/Netflix - I won't for more than about half an hour, I need those things too... #emptythreats

Pardon? - I have no idea what you just said although I'm pretty sure it's rude, and wtf is "on fleek" anyway?

Yolo - I think I'm down with the kids

I understand - I don't really understand but I'm trying to sound sympathetic so that you don't cry/storm off/get even more upset.  Perhaps I should just have said "maybe" and called for parental backup?

Parental language explained

The language of parenthood is a beautiful one (or something), but sometimes I think it would have been easier to learn Japanese...


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