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Frankly Fatherhood: Top 10 Parent Sayings I Swore I’d Never Say

We’ve all vowed to be better parents than our own in some way or another. Part of that vow for me was that I would hardly ever raise my voice and that I would rarely succumb to feeding my kids fast food. I have failed miserably on both accounts and I’ve easily come to terms with it. I’ve also told myself that I would be the kind of parent that would explain all my decisions to my children and avoid those eye-rolling, groan-worthy “parentisms” that we’ve all heard growing up. Well, that promise didn’t go so well either.

So here are my top ten parent sayings I never thought would make it into my regular parenting vocabulary.

  1. When I was your age… Can you feel your eyes rolling already? Most of the time this one is used to refer to the massive amount of toys, books, and screen access they have.
  2. One day, you’ll understand. Getting our kids ready for the world out there is tough work and developmentally, they don’t always understand why we make them do things like apologize when they’ve hurt someone, use their manners, and always respect their elders.
  3. Don’t play with your food. This one pairs well with “Sit up straight” and “Lean in when you eat”! Is it just me or do we say the same three sentences at every single meal time?
  4. Maybe you can go live with them. This is my not-so-proud knee-jerk response to “But Jimmy’s mom lets him do this so why can’t I?”
  5. Stop arguing with me, I’m still smarter than you. Every time this comes out of my mouth I already know I’ve lost the battle. Why do I resort to explaining that I’m smarter than a six-year-old?
  6. We’re not made of money. Also acceptable is “Money doesn’t grow on trees”. I remember finally learning the value of money when I had my first job, so this parentism might get used a bit longer.
  7. I sound like a broken record! To which my kids respond with “What’s a record?” Cue my face taking a dive into my palm in slow motion.
  8. You are not in charge. A slight variation of “my house, my rules”. Sometimes the only way to end the incessant badgering of WHYs is to remind them who’s boss.
  9. I’m a grown-up so I’m allowed to. This refers to all behaviour they see me do and they are not allowed to. For example, cursing, playing games on my phone, and staying up late.
  10. Because I said so. This one drove me absolutely mad when I was younger and yet, it’s become my most common parentism. I don’t have the time to explain for the 128th time why you need to eat your veggies or clean up your toys! Just get ‘er done!

Frank Emanuele is a proud father of two boys, a special education teacher, and a director of Dad Club London.


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