I think that there are phrases that kids use that are almost universal. They are the things that kids say that make me want to cringe. They are the phrases that make them sound spoiled, mad and entitled.
“It’s not fair!”
“You can’t make me!”
“Why should I do it?”
“You never buy me anything!”
I find that I need to take a deep yoga breath when my kids talk to me in this way, because it makes me mad. I want to retort:
“You know what is not fair, that I have to argue with you now, when it is so late and I just want to go to sleep!”
“Oh! I can make you! I am your mother! (for all that is worth.)”
“Why should you do it? Why should I do it?”
“And I will never buy you anything ever again. From this exact moment and on!”
So I have been writing about parenting for a few years now, so you probably know what I am going to say. Yes, I would like to answer them in all my angry glory, but it does not work. When kids sound spoiled, mad and entitled, they need compassion instead of anger.
So instead of indulging my temper, I either take a break and not say anything until I am calm, or take the deep yoga breath that I spoke about above and say:
“You sound upset about the jobs you needed to do tonight. Tomorrow, we will try to figure out something that works better for you. Good night!”
“You are right, I can’t make you. But I would appreciate if you helped me out and did your job, so I don’t end up doing it and feeling resentful.”
“It sounds like you don’t want to clean up the mess because you did not do it. I can understand that. Nevertheless, in this house we all help out regardless of who made the mess.”
“You sound frustrated. You want the glittery pencils and notebook. That is something that we can get you for a special occasion. Let’s put it on your birthday list!”
Now I hope to remember to actually practice what I preach!
Wish me luck.
Don’t forget to sign up for our ParentingSimply newsletter: