Things I don't regret saying to my kids

The big bad bosses of the world always have an opinion on how we should be raising our children. There are so many ‘should never’ articles out there aimed at mums. My favourites are always the ones telling me all the things I will “regret saying to my kids”.

I say things to my kids that I apparently shouldn’t all the time. I’ve even been known to chuck a few ‘Oh for sucks fake’ in there when I’m really cranky, which my children will tell you is all the time.

This article in particular has always annoyed the suck out me. It’s called “10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Kids”. That word “never” is an instant red rag to a bull, isn’t it? But have a squizz at the things that we are never meant to say to our kids.

A list of things you apparently should NEVER say to your kids

1. Let me help.

2. Great job.

3. Be careful

4. You’re okay.

5. Practise makes perfect.

6. Hurry up.

7. I’m on a diet.

8. We can’t afford that.

9. No dessert until you finish your dinner.

10. Don’t talk to strangers.

Sure I get there’s no need to talk about diets with your kids, in fact I ban the word from my house, much to the mirth of many.

I also ban the word fat, unless it’s talked about in the context of the lamb chops that I cook my kids: “stop eating all the fat and try the meat, please”. True story, one of my kids ADORES animal blubber, it’s horrific, I know.

But what on earth is wrong with saying ‘great job’ to a child who has worked hard to finally get three sentences written for their weekly homework? I say piss off experts!

oops

But back to how we’re screwing up our kids. Contrary to the patronising and judgey “never” amount of times I should say the above things to my kids, here are some examples of when it’s actually the exact right thing to say.

Sometimes use of never phrases

Let me help pack your bag for your grandparents. Pardon? How long is a month? Oh, not that long.

Great job on cutting your brother’s hair, saves me having to take him to the hairdresser where I’ll pay $15 for a cheap lollipop.

Be careful with that glass of wine, I’d hate you to drop it.

You’re okay, just a little to the left and maybe you could put more pressure into it, my back is killing me right now.

Practice makes perfect sense if you have hours and hours up your sleeve, but I say just wing it, how hard can it be to play a violin?

Hurry up and get to bed. Mummy has a very important feature to write that will pay for the orthodontics you will need because you suck your finger because I took your dummy away too early because back then I actually cared what other people thought can you believe it?

I’m on a diet of love thanks to you beautiful cherubs.

We can’t afford that because mummy has three overseas trips planned in the next six months.

No dessert until you finish your dinner because I hated cooking dinner, so it’s only fair that you should hate eating it! 

Don’t talk to strangers, especially those offering pets, toys or lollies because you know grown-ups would NEVER give you any of those things willingly.

In all seriousness, I do agree that we have to be careful what we say to our kids, but I reckon that it’s ridiculous to worry so much that we second guess everything word that escapes our mouths. Fact is, “never” is a very long time.

I say how about a warm glass of shut the hell up experts. Spend a year in the trenches with me and then you’ll have earned the right to tell me what I should and shouldn’t say to my kids!

Do you have a list of ‘never’ things?

Emily Toxward

Have a Laugh on Me

Journalist Emily Toxward fumbles her way through parenting three children while juggling the demands of her writing business, Write Styling. A published writer for 20 years, Emily shots from the hip when required and her writing is raw, honest and sometimes humorous.

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