Thursday, November 30, 2006

10 Phrases Every New Parent Must Know

Please indulge just one more top 10 list. Stay tuned for the following articles:
Camera Queen Strikes Again and Life Is A Highway: The Song

1. “Be Careful!”
Must be said firmly and with no hesitation, but beware, this one is often ignored!

2. “Stop That!” or “Stop That, NOW!”
Usually, must be said in repetition. A minimum of three times is often required for the hearing impaired.

3. “Not Now” or “Later”
Used to put off an immediate request. Remember, “later” is a relative concept -- it could mean 10 minutes or 10 years. A word of warning – this one will come back to bite you when you least expect it:
“Can we go to the store?” he said innocently.
“Not now, later,” you responded.
Three days pass and he’s putting on his jacket, you say, “Where you goin’, buddy?”
He responds, “To the store… it’s ‘later’.”
You get your coat too.

4. “Please, Be Quiet”
My mother had a saying when I was his age, “Not every minute of everyday has to be filled with the sound of your voice!” Again, this one requires repetition and is also routinely ignored. We add the “Please” to this one – we’re trying to teach manners here, right? Time is also relative on this one, “I was quiet!” – I guess 5 seconds counts.

5. “Stop Jumping!”
For those of us who have boys, this one is especially important. Usually, this one is heard and reacted to immediately. Although, in my experience, it is often followed by #2 within minutes.

6. “We’ll see” and/or “Maybe”
A popular favorite, used to prolong the inevitable. Anyone who uses this knows that you’re going to do it, and usually sooner rather than later. I would advise using this one with caution as they catch on fast to our tricks. They make the leap to number 8 after only one or two uses.

7. “NO!”
This one’s not for wimps! Must be vocalized in a stern and commanding tone. Born with natural animal instincts they can sense weakness as well as any tiger cub. A general rule that must be followed with this one is – NO means NO. Stick to your guns, use this one sparingly. Number 3 and 6 will often suffice. Also, this one gets learned easily and is repeated back quite frequently. Be prepared for tears and loud shrieks. They’ll pass, but it’ll be rough going for a while.

8. “YES” “SURE” “OKAY”
Whoa! Careful here! This one is for advanced users only. It requires immediate action. “Can we go to the park?”, they ask. You say, “Sure!” Better have a bag packed, beverages chilled, car running and have visited the rest room. When in doubt, use #6. That way you’ll be a hero when you say, “C’mon, lets go!” But beware, jumping usually ensues and you’ll have to use #5 to quell the excitement.

9. “I Love You”
Cannot be overused! If you ever want to hear it back you need to say it first and often. This one’s a bonus as it can be used for your spouse, too. Same rule applies – cannot be overused!

10. “I’m Sorry”
Like number 9, if you ever want to hear this from your child you need to say it first. This one must be sincere to be effective. Also, like number 9, should be used on spouse as well. Proper placement, tone and sincerity are a must. Use often but use wisely.

Next Top 10 List: 10 Things That Should Never Come Out Of Your Mouth

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