Summer is a great time to catch up on reading. My Kindle has been on fire lately. I’ve recently had the pleasure to read a fabulous award-winning parenting book,
What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children by Sarah MacLaughlin.
This book is packed with insights into your child’s behaviors, and gives you the simple tools necessary to promote a positive teaching and learning environment. It’s clear, concise information any parent can immediately put to use. Today, I am excited to host a guest post by the author. Please give her a warm welcome and be sure to enter into her giveaway!
Guest Post by Sarah MacLaughlin, Author of the award-winning Amazon bestselling book, What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children
Okay, it’s confession time. No matter how hard I try to avoid the label, people call me a, **gulp** “parenting expert.” I tell parents they are the expert on their kids. I know a lot about development and have spent a lot of time with kids—but not likely your kid—you’re the one who knows her best, right? Anyway, where I’m going with this is that I am not really an expert. Not on kids in general, or communication in general, and I’m not a perfect parent—my belief is that they don’t actually exist.
In an effort to be completely out of the closet about how entirely imperfect I am. I will say that while I do teach parents to be aware of what they say in front of their children, pay attention to their tone, and be mindful of the fact that they are always modeling, alas, I do not always practice what I preach.
Below are many examples of the ways in which I have completely blown it when it comes to modeling good communication and parenting—the proof is most certainly in these choice phrases that my four-year-old son has said back to me over the past two years.
“This f%@*ing sucks!”
Yeah, that one was pretty bad. It was a 3:30 AM nightmare-zone of non-sleep—he was probably just over two. He was not talking full sentences yet, but was in that very cute repeat-back phase. I was (reluctantly) carrying him downstairs for a snack because he just would not go back to sleep. I’m the one who said it first, about halfway down the stairs. He said it right back to me in his adorable little baby voice, and honestly, it’s probably the best thing that could have happened. Seriously, nothing lightens your mood more that hearing a barely verbal child utter the “F” word in the wee hours of the night.
“Ugh, I can’t stand this.”
He always says this in a well-honed tone of annoyance—as in, you have pushed me to the limit and I have no patience left for you and your petty agenda! Like when I want to brush his teeth (how insulting!) or buckle his car seat (the horribly confining thing). You know, the tortuous necessities of parenting.
“That was damn good!”
In my defense, I’m pretty sure he got this one from my mom. The context was him pushing back his chair from a heartily eaten meal. I’m guessing he meant it as a compliment. Some cultures would appreciate this—it’s like burping, right? Yeah, he does that too. What can I say?
“Quit harassing me!”
This is one of those phrases that I didn’t know I said until I heard it out of his mouth. I felt pretty embarrassed when I heard it. But geez, he does harass me. Relentlessly and often. He must think it is his job, or maybe it’s his mission in life or something. He does use it appropriately, like when I want to leave the house on time for summer camp and work, or when it’s time to go to bed. Those are the times when the Harassing Mama makes an appearance.
“Give me that freaking phone!”
This was just last week. I had heard him use the term “freaking” before and every time it just cracks me up. I can’t help it! It is just so funny—he mimics my irritated manner so impeccably when he says this. I was talking to my mom when he made this particular demand—he wanted to say hello and I’d put him off for a minute so I could wrap up my conversation—the nerve!
“Are you kidding me?”
No, I am not kidding you. I am not kidding you that play time is over. I am not kidding you that you may not have another (3rd) Popsicle. I am not kidding you that we need to stop at the grocery store for milk and no, you cannot have M&M’s while we shop. I am not kidding—it really is a school day. I am absolutely not kidding you that it is time for bed!
So you see, I’m not perfect. I’m a mom who tries really hard to get it right and doesn’t make too big of deal out of it when I don’t. I’m willing to apologize and forgive myself. And I certainly don’t get mad at my son for talking to me in exactly the same tone and with exactly the same words I use when I speak to him. That’s totally my fault, not his.
Your famous phrases out of your child’s mouth?
Please comment on this post about the famous phrases you hear coming out of your child’s mouth. Your comment enters you in the eBook Giveaway — to win an ebook copy of What Not to Say: Tools for Talking with Young Children, in the format of your choice: PDF, epub, or Kindle format. Sarah will be giving away one copy at each blog stop and will announce it on the comments of this post tomorrow. Be sure to leave your email so we can contact you in case you’re the winner!
Other stops and opportunities to win during this Blog Tour are listed on Sarah’s blog here:
Also, you can enter at Sarah’s site for the Grand Prize Giveaway: a Kindle Touch. Winner will be announced at the end of the tour after July 15th. Go here to enter: http://sarahsbalancingact.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour.html