Do nice things and nice things will happen to you
I am a firm believer in the concept of Karma and the idea that ‘you reap what you sew’; I try to treat people the way I want to be treated in the hope that it means people will be respectful and nice to me. Most of the time this concept works quite well, especially in teaching where I feel ‘respect goes both ways’.
However, if we apply the karma concept to my role as a parent, I must have given my parents hell when I was a child. Karma has now come back round to bite me in the backside with my two little, darling bundles of mischief that I have the pleasure to call my kids. If you are interested in my advice on motherhood, you can find it here
I do obviously say this in ‘slight’ jest; my children are actually very well-behaved when around other people and do not make too much of a show of me in the supermarket aisles, which is a big positive. Nevertheless, they do have the capacity to test the patience of a saint when they put their minds to it and it is usually me that is the person that bares the brunt of it.
I have started to repeat the phrases my Mum and Dad would say to me when I was a child; we are a product of our upbringing and it seems only logical that I say the same things that my parents said to me, after all, I turned out alright, although how ‘alright’ I am may be up for discussion.
So here are the greatest hits that I have resurrected from good old Mum and Dad into my parenting vocabulary as Mummy.
Because I said so
This is used a phenomenal amount of times in the Mrs. T household; sometimes it is used as the last resort after endless explanations. I have a four-year-old son that questions every, single task that we ask of him and after explaining the numerous reasons why I want him to pick his toys up and put them away and still not getting any closer to moving his monster trucks from the floor my final solution is these four words. I do not do this as an all knowledgeable and powerful dictator of my children who think I deserve immediate respect and compliance from my child, but merely as a code for my son to realise that if he takes the argument any further, then he is not going to like the outcome.
Money does not grow on trees.
The concept of money and the lack of it seems an absolutely alien concept to a four year old; my son see’s toys advertised on TV and starts saying ‘I need this’ ‘I want this’ ‘It’s my favourite thing ever’ with no idea as to the ‘value’ of these items.
Likewise, trips out are another thing that involves money and is something my son thinks can magically happen if he flutters his eyelashes at mummy for long enough. We are a one income family, we are not struggling but in the same instance I want my children to learn the value of things and he cannot simply go to the play centre everyday of the holidays or have every car or truck he see’s in the shop.
My children never want for anything but likewise, I am not spending a small fortune on a ‘hyped’ toy that he won’t like after a few weeks. My mother reiterated this recently when she said ‘you never demanded designer clothes, you knew the value of things’ which just goes to show her use of this phrase actually worked.
Children’s minds are curious and will test any boundary that is laid in front of them, it is programmed within them to do it. As adults, we have learned a lot through trial and error and we sometimes forget that children haven’t had the opportunity to do that yet, hindsight is the greatest latecomer to the party after all. I have done this so many times, warned them about climbing, jumping, bending their toys, bellowing things like ‘don’t come crying to me when you fall off the sofa/break your toys.’ Then when the inevitable fall occurs and the tears flow you say in your best, all wise, mum voice ‘what did I tell you, it’s your own fault’. I feel this one is such a catch 22 situation, you want to protect your child but in turn, you are not letting them discover for themselves and make their own mistakes.
If they stuck their hand in the fire would you?
What your children learn from their friends can often be a minefield to negotiate. As humans, we all want to be accepted and feel that we fit in within society and children are no different. Peer pressure/influence certainly was the cause of quite a few hiccups when I was a child, of which my parents had to deal with. This phrase was a regular within these situations and although I have not really had to use it too much yet, I am in no doubt that it will be bellowed with an annoyed expression in its multitude as my children become older.
Keep your hands to yourself/ you look with your eyes, not with your hands.
I remember vividly as a child being in a department store in the glass section and feeling the anxiety rising inside of me; I was a super clumsy child and had so many accidents that I was told not to touch stuff when we were shopping. This was the phrase that would ring out every time went shopping or went to other peoples houses.
I have said this with my son on quite a few occasions, partly because he has developed my clumsy gene and also because, as a boy, he has a desire to rough house and play fight. I feel like boys have a naturally destructive streak that means they are more prone to smacking each other, something I was mortified to hear about my son at nursery. Luckily it was just a rare occurrence but I am always encouraging him to have ‘kind hands’ or to keep them to himself altogether.
What do you say?
This question comes from my need to teach my children manners. Manners for me is the most important thing I want to instill in my kids. When teaching the simple please and thank yous I am always saying this phrase as children have a tendency to forget. Being grateful for what people do is such an important attribute to have I would rather have a nice polite child over any university education that they could get.
This is always used as a final resort when every other strategy has been exhausted and I’m at the point of giving up and conceding defeat. At the moment this strategy does work through the complete fear of the Unknown, my son not wanting to risk the consequence of me reaching five.
In a minute means now
Have you ever asked your child to do something and heard phrase in a minute’, especially when engrossed in something they are enjoying, it can be hard to tear them away from what they are doing and make them do something you’ve asked them to. I actually feel a slight bit of double standard as if my son asked me to do something my instant response is to say in a minute I’m dreading the moment he starts answering me back with the above phrase.
If it was up to your child you would probably be spending the majority of your time fetching and carrying things for them to make their life easier, after all, we have parents and isn’t that what parents are meant to do? I do not believe that we should do everything for our children and so my answer to my son when he tells me I need to do something that he can do himself is to treat another pearl of wisdom from my mother. Independence is a quality that is so useful when you get in adult life so why shouldn’t we teach it when they are children rather than doing everything for them.
So that’s the list of things that my parents used to say to me that I now say to my children what phrases did your parents say to you that you use now I would love to know in the comments.
Ciao for now parenting fans xx