10 Things Moms Say vs. What Kids Hear

Sometimes I think I speak a different language than my daughter.

I swear I am saying one thing to her, but she clearly hears something completely different.

Some days I feel I would have better luck talking to a wall. Also, it doesn’t talk back. An added bonus.

It is frustrating, maddening, and sometimes all that’s left to do is throw our hands up in the air and take a vow of silence!

Here’s a (small) list of things Moms say to their children and how our seemingly straightforward words seem to get lost in translation.

  1. I need to make a phone call.” This translates as it’s time to be as loud as possible. Or, an opportunity to do something they know they shouldn’t be doing. It can also translate as the perfect time to tell you something of utmost importance. Any way to interrupt or end the call is attempted once the phone has been dialed.
  2. “It feels so nice to finally sit down.” This translates to Mom is comfortable, so now they must need something. Drink? Snack? Toy? Whatever it is, you never stood a chance of putting your feet up.
  3. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” This translates to, “this is the best idea ever!” Whenever this statement is made, children hear it as a challenge rather than a warning. Use with discretion.
  4. “Listen to me!” What did you say? The word listen doesn’t translate well. In fact it can often translate to mean the opposite. This typically results in undesirable behavior to be repeated. Over, and over, and over again.
  5. “Time for bed.” This translates as an opportunity to stall as long as possible. They see this as the perfect time to: pick out pajamas for twenty minutes, brush teeth for a ridiculous amount of time, ask pointless questions, look for a toy they haven’t used in months, negotiate the number of books to be read, and adamantly inform you they are not in fact tired.
  6. “We are late!” This translates to, “I have to go potty one more time.” They need to tie their own shoes, put on their own jacket, and do up the zipper even if this means they scream bloody murder because they can’t quite do it yet. Oh, and they need to grab one more thing that is vital to our outing. What that thing is? Who f’ing knows!
  7. “Don’t use that word.” This translates as an open invitation to use said word. Repeatedly. And, it’s the funniest thing in the universe.
  8. “Supper is ready.” This translates as time to start playing something new. It’s also time to remind you they aren’t hungry. Even though ten minutes earlier they were complaining about how they were starving. And, it’s also time to go potty.
  9. “Mom is going to get ready for the day.” This doesn’t translate well. What they hear is you will be preoccupied with something other than them. They will need you for everything now. Things they are perfectly capable of doing? You must do them. Or else they will ask you one million questions while you put on your makeup.
  10. “I love you.” This one translates across the board. These three words seem to be fool proof. This statement also helps Moms survive the countless other times our children don’t hear what we are saying. Set this as your default.

So, maybe we don’t have to take a vow of silence.

But, wouldn’t it be wonderful if what we said to our children were heard? No translation needed?

That’s likely wishful thinking.

Now back to that wall…what was I saying?


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