Kids are wonderful most of the time. They provide comedy, joy and a gentle kindness that few adults have. Their naïve view of the world provides a wonderful alternative to the often pessimistic view of adults. However, with this youth also comes a tendency to do things that are inappropriate and challenging for adults. Kids often don’t know the social context in which they operate and many of them don’t care. Although few children are really malicious, most of them do enjoy being annoying now and then.
My kids tend to do certain things that really get me going sometimes. They know what buttons they need to push to get a reaction and when they need a little attention they do just that. I have often struggled to control my temper in these sorts of situations but I often fail. It has helped to be able to pinpoint the things my kids say that annoy me. As I have learned what pushes my buttons most I have also found ways to deal with being annoyed. Here are the six most annoying things my children say and some tips about how to deal with the situation:
1. “Shut up!” I cannot stand it when a child says shut up, either to another child or to an adult. While it is rude, it also assumes a certain air of authority in a situation where a child deserves none and has none. If your child says shut up you need to make it very clear that this sort of talk is not acceptable. The first time your child says ‘Shut up!”, let them know immediately that this is not OK language.
2. “What’s for dinner?” As the one who does most of the cooking in the house, I can’t stand this question. It makes me feel like I’m some sort of servant in my own house. It also seems like the kids should be focusing on something besides their dinner. The best way to get around this issue is to never tell your kids the answer. If they know that they will not get a response they will stop asking the question.
3. “When will we get there?” Have you ever heard this question so many times that it starts to sound like a chant? Any lengthy trip can become miserable if your children start to ask this question. The thing to realize is that they are simply bored. Look for ways to entertain them and they will forget about the situation.
4. “I’m hungry.” Although there are times when a child saying that they are hungry is totally appropriate, in many cases they do so when they could easily get themselves a snack. When I hear my kids say that they are hungry I feel like I’m their personal cook or something. Just tell your kids to get themselves something to eat, assuming they are old enough to do so.
5. “Mommy.” Obviously this could be daddy as well. Often my kids say mommy in a certain tone and it starts to get to me. There might not be much you can do to stop this one. Just ask them not to say it too many times in a row.
6. “What are we going to do now?” I can’t stand feeling like I’m supposed to always provide some sort of entertainment for my children. When my kids ask this question now I just tell them its up to them.