Sometimes parenting is a lot like playing a broken record. You hear yourself saying the same things over and over and over again. And sometimes you hear yourself saying the same things that generations of parents before you have said.
Some of it is just, well, why re-invent the wheel? "So, stop touching it," still applies today!
But every once in awhile, something comes out of my mouth -- or the mouths of my fellow parents -- that makes me groan. Just because it's a classic "momism," doesn't mean it should be said in 2013!
In fact, it's high time we nix a few of these from our vocab, Ok moms (and dads)?
1. It won't hurt! Really, Mom? Even your kid knows that's a bald faced lie! You're just setting yourself for them to distrust you. I prefer, "It will only sting for a few seconds" or "It will hurt for a second, but then we can get ice cream!"
2. He's just picking on you because he likes you. No, actually, he's just picking on her because he's a little brat and people continue to treat him like it's "cute" to pull girls' pigtails. You wouldn't tell your 26-year-old daughter that some creep in the bar "likes her" when he acts like a jerk, so why are you doing it to your 6-year-old?
3. Boys will be boys. This falls right in with #2. Just because plenty of boys his age tend to be a bit more rambunctious than certain girls doesn't mean the behavior can be excused. Acknowledge that some things he does may be natural behavior, and then do something about that instinct to be destructive! Be a parent! Instruct your kid on what is good to do!
4. Would you like a punch in the nose? I never really understood why parents threaten their kids with ridiculous violence that (hopefully) they would never actually follow through on. If you wouldn't do it to your kid, why would you say it? Pretty soon your kid is going to realize you're all bark and no bite, and then discipline will get "really" fun.
5. Wait until your father comes home! I'll 'fess up; I've said it. And I am not proud of it. What good can come from making your child fear one of their parents? I'm afraid there's none really.
6. They're just jealous of you. Well, well, well, know we know where the whole "entitled" stereotype came from. It's possible to tell your kid someone else is a jerk without stroking their (already inflated) ego.
7. If you don't eat your vegetables, [insert HORRIBLE thing here] will happen. No it won't. You know what will happen? You'll have to compost six stalks of broccoli, and you'll be pissed off that you wasted money at the farmer's market.
8. Clean your plate, there are starving people in X. While it's true that there ARE starving people all around the world, one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Fact is, cleaning your plate isn't always a good thing. All it does is screw up your kid's sense of portion control and put them at risk of an eating disorder down the line.
9. I was in labor with you for X hours. Enough with the martyr act, ladies. You decided to have a kid; you don't get to keep holding your labor over their heads.
10. LOOK at me when I'm talking to you. This falls more under "sometimes it's not worth it" than "strike this entirely. If there's one thing I'm determined not to forget, it's how I felt when my parents talked to me. I remember that looking them in the eyes never made me hear them better; it just made me more emotional (and usually more pissed off). The last thing I want to do is make my kid more angry ... and less likely to listen to what I'm saying to her. Sometimes kids need to look at us, but before you trot this one out, think about it. What are you going to gain?
Do you say these things to your kids? What other momisms do you think we need to retire?
Image by Jeanne Sager