25 Parenting Phrases We Swore We'd Never Say

There was a certain language they spoke, that cliché "parentese," that I swore would never pass my lips.
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In my recent post about decoding Momisms (what we say and what we REALLY mean), I realized that at some point along the way, I had become my parents. There was a certain language they spoke, that cliché "parentese," that I swore would never pass my lips.

No, I would never say, "Because I said so" because I intended to have long conversations with my brilliant offspring in which I would explain my decisions and discuss my reasoning ad nauseum.

I mean, kids deserve to be talked to like adults, right? No quickie threats or illogical arguments. Well, at least that's what I assumed when I was one of them. Now, I realize those phrases were uttered to avoid having conversations ad nauseum about EVERY LITTLE THING or because they were to the point and preserved our parent's sanity.

Here's a list -- compiled with help from my awesome Facebook fans -- of those things we swore we'd never say, categorized by style. The question is, how many of these have passed your lips? (I've already said variations of 13 of them and I appear to lean towards the illogical and the sarcastic, but I'll throw in a threat every once in a while -- you know, for good measure.)

The Illogical:

  • Don't look at me with those eyes.
  • If you keep making that face, it'll freeze that way.
  • If you want to act like a child, I'll treat you like one.
  • Quiet down, I can't even hear myself think.
  • One day you'll thank me.
  • Children are to be seen, not heard.
  • Because I said so, that's why!

The Logical:

  • As long as you're under my roof, you live by my rules.
  • G-d gave you a brain, use it.
  • Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.

The Sarcastic:

  • Are your legs broken?
  • If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?
  • Oh, Jen's mom lets her do (such and such)? Then go live with Jen's mom... I'll help you pack.
  • Shut the door, were you born in a barn?
  • Your room looks like a cyclone ran through it.
  • Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall.
  • Let's play the quiet game.
  • Someone better be bleeding.
  • Where are your manners -- were you raised by wolves?
The Threatening:
  • I'm not asking, I'm telling.
  • When you have kids, I hope they're just like you.
  • Don't you use that tone with me Mister/Missy.
  • Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about.
  • You better wipe that look off your face.
  • Don't make me: tell you again/come back there/turn this car around et al.

Well what's your score? What's your favorite "parentese"? What did I miss?

Jenny Isenman, AKA Jenny From the Blog, is the humorist behind the award winning site, The Suburban Jungle. A caffeine addicted card carrying Gen Xer, on air lifestyle expert for NBC, and columnist at mulitiple sites, her goal is to you keep herself sane. Oh, and to teach dolphins to read. She is failing at both.

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