We’re constantly giving our kids directives – from where to go to what to do to when to eat. And though they may find this irritating, maybe they just don’t know a good thing when they hear it.
Here are the top 10 things I say to my kids, that I’d love to hear myself:
1 | Go take a nap.
Why is it only acceptable for little kids to get carved out minutes – if not hours – for a much needed nap? Adults and parental units of both sexes would greatly appreciate a mid-afternoon snooze.
I would especially enjoy one that was perfectly timed to take place after a satisfying lunch and before the arrival of the school bus. A little shut-eye before the older kids return home (with their temperamental hormones) could make for a better evening all the way around.
2 | Take a few more bites.
I’d kiss a person if they urged me to take another bite of pizza or pancake. Why do children torture moms and dads with finicky appetites? There’s nothing more annoying, than watching kiddos refuse delicious and easy foods like: mashed potatoes, lasagna, enchiladas, chicken nuggets, and bagels.
I (and other middle-aged parents like me) try hard to practice portion control while our toddlers scream in pain at being subjected to three little bites of the creamy goodness that is macaroni and cheese.
3 | Go to your room.
When my kids are stressed and lashing out at their siblings or friends, they get sent to their room for a time-out. Well, I would also love a time-out. Especially during those less than perfect moments when the living room is filled with building blocks and broken crayons, and the kids are only half dressed.
It’d be amazing for someone to order me to my bedroom for some sanity-saving deep breaths and moments of silence. And not having to leave the room until my mood’s improved? Best day ever.
4 | Can I help you with that?
Preschoolers can do it all, and I often get snapped at by my kiddos for offering to help tie a shoe or zip up a coat. Would a little reciprocation to assist be too much to ask for?
I’d readily accept help from a person offering to lighten my load or solve a hard problem. Especially when it comes to carrying four groceries bags, plus a school back pack, the dog, and my daughter’s sunglasses in from the vehicle to the back door. It’d be instant euphoria to hear anyone – anyone at all –offer to help with this daily endeavor, or the million of other little hiccups that I encounter throughout the day.
5 | Try on these brand new clothes I just bought you.
If someone said the above ten words to me, I’d do a cart wheel and run for the nearest dressing bathroom with my new found goods. However, my children emit deep sighs regarding the task of trying on a new winter coat or cool superhero shirt.
I don’t go into Carter’s and Justice for my own health and sanity. When will kids learn to be grateful and polite? Let me see you looking cute in a holiday sweater that I stood in line at Walmart – that’s right, WALMART – to buy for you.
6 | Go outside and play with your friends.
Moms and dads everywhere would leap off of couches and dive from moving vehicles if someone gave them permission to go play with friends. Yet, kids have to be told to go play – even when the sun is shining and school is closed.
I’d love to be able to saunter over to my friend’s yard and play a little shuffleboard, or a quick game of catch. Especially if it allowed me to escape the duties of my household.
7 | Do you want a snack?
My kiddos get snacks at all hours of the day, sometimes because they’re hungry and sometimes just because I need them to be quiet.
But as a mom, sometimes I forget to eat breakfast and lunch. So to have someone notice that I’m unhappy, and offer me food to compensate for this unhappiness, would lead to pure joy and a fuller tummy.
8 | Did you remember to bring…
Your coat? Headphones? Homework? Lunch box? The list goes on and on, and I’m constantly reminding my children to bring along their essentials. You know, like the violin you need for violin practice?
I would love a sweet, loving, voice to gently help me recall that I left my cell phone on the bedroom dresser, or to urge me back to the house to retrieve my forgotten purse and sweater.
9 | Let’s sing a song.
Singing is good for the soul, and it’s a great way to be silly. I bring up this musical activity a lot in order to make my kids feel better. I love to sing in the shower and rap in the carpool lane, yet I never get any requests for encores or a chance to pick the music on the drives to school.
Adults work hard and need to blow off steam, so the chance to belt out the Frozen refrain with no grumbles – every now and then – would be much appreciated.
10 | It is bathtime
I haven’t taken a bath in five years, and the last time I did, I was having contractions. So yes, someone else telling me that I need a bath (and the time for it is right now) would be appealing.
Kids roll their eyes and throw tantrums when they hear the word “bath.” It’d be a dream for me to have another person insist I take a hot bubble bath instead of my usual short, cold shower.
What do you say to your kids that you’d love to hear said to you?