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I do respect my kids!

I do respect my children, as you do yours. I do not try to control every aspect of their lives.


I think all decent parents will say they respect their kids.


But if we actually look objectively at how we treat them, it ends up looking incredibly disrespectful. Not everything, certainly, but more than we realized.


Parents in general speak to kids in ways they'd never speak to another adult, or at least not one they cared about! Conventional parenting is rife with disrespect for children but it's common practice so we don't even notice.


We decide that since we "have to" go to the store, it's just part of life and kids have to put up with it like we do.


"We have to leave now! 1 ... 2 ... 3 ..." "You made the mess. You have to clean it up." (That one came back to me and boy did it sound mean!) "I've been buying you things all day. Do you think I'm made of money?" "No, the food at the mall's too expensive. We can wait until we get home to eat." "No, you can't do that until you're done cleaning up." "Turn off that game now. You've had enough for today."


And those are the more obvious ones.


Conventional parenting basically seeks to remold kids to act in ways that won't embarass parents, to shut down needs that are irritating and inconvenient. It's incredibly disrespectful.


Here's a YouTube video of "momisms" written and sung by Anita Renfroe to the tune of the William Tell OVerture:

If the video disappears the lyrics are at Lyrics: Anita Renfroe - William Tell Total Momsense)


All the moms in the audience cheer becuase they agree that's how it is and how it has to be. But if you picture what she says as a day spent with your husband or boss saying those things to you, I bet you'd feel disconnected and like a misbehaving cog in someone's machne.


Most moms end up saying these things because it's what they heard growing up. They may feel wrong, but they don't have anything to replace them with. So the words pop out to silence the issue so mom can return to family maintenance of schlepping, feeding, cleaning.


To get to the better choices, it's a matter of turning your vision around and figuring out how you'd like to be treated in the situation from your child's point of view. Which is what this site and more massively Sandra Dodd's Radical Unschooling site are all about.


Things conventional Moms say. Think of these as like a Radical Unschooling parenting test. How would you respond differently? Even better how would you handle the situation before it lead to a boil-over point?




  • Act your age!

  • Am I talking to a brick wall?

  • Answer me when I ask you a question!

  • Are you deaf or something?

  • Are you going out dressed like that?

  • Are you lying to me?

  • Are your legs broken? Get it yourself!

  • As long as you live under my roof, you'll do as I say.

  • Be careful what you wish for, it might come true.

  • Because I'm your mother that's why.

  • Bored! How can you be bored? I was never bored at your age.

  • Cake is not breakfast food!

  • Cheer up, the worst is yet to come.

  • Clean up after yourself!

  • Clean your plate. There's starving children in Africa.

  • Close the door! Were you born in a barn?

  • Do as I say, not as I do.

  • Do I have to send you a written invitation?! Sit down and eat!

  • Do I look like your maid?!

  • Do you live to annoy me?

  • Do you think I'm made of money?

  • Do you think this is a hotel? You can't just come here only to sleep.

  • Do you think your socks are going to pick themselves up?

  • Don't ask me WHY. The answer is NO.

  • Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back.

  • Don't EVER let me catch you doing that again!

  • Don't get smart with me!

  • Don't make me come in there!

  • Don't make me get up!

  • Don't make me stop this car!

  • Don't roll your eyes at me.

  • Don't use that tone with me!

  • Don't walk away when I'm talking to you!

  • Don't you have anything better to do?

  • Enough is enough!

  • Go play outside! It's a beautiful day!

  • Go to your room and think about what you did!

  • How can you have nothing to wear? Your closet is FULL of clothes!

  • How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tasted it?

  • How many times do I have to tell you?

  • I always love you, but I don't always like you.

  • I brought you into this world, and I can take you right back out!

  • I can always tell when you're lying.

  • I can't believe you did that!

  • I didn't ask who put it there, I said "Pick it up!"

  • I don't care if you hate me. I'm your mother.

  • I don't care what the other kids' parents said, I said no.

  • I don't care who started it, I said stop!

  • I don't have to explain myself. I said no.

  • I don't know how you turned out the way you did!

  • I don't know is NOT an answer.

  • I hope you have kids just like you someday!

  • I just sat down!

  • I said CLOSE the door, not SLAM it.

  • I slave for hours over a hot stove and this is the thanks I get?!

  • I was not put on this earth to entertain you.

  • I would never in a million years have talked to my mother like that!

  • I wouldn't make you do it if I didn't love you.

  • I'll give you until the count of three...

  • I'll treat you like an adult when you act like an adult.

  • I'm doing this for your own good.

  • I'm going to skin you alive!

  • I'm not always going to be around to do these things for you.

  • I'm not asking you, I'm TELLING you.

  • I'm not everyone else's mother - I'm your mother.

  • I'm not going to ask you again.

  • I'm not running a taxi service.

  • I'm not talking just to hear my own voice!

  • I'm not your friend. I'm your mother.

  • I'm not your waitress!

  • I've had it up to here with you.

  • If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?

  • If I have to come in there, someone better be bleeding.

  • If I want your opinion I'll ask for it!

  • If I've told you once ... I've told you a thousand times.

  • If it were a snake, it would have bitten you.

  • If wishes were horses...

  • If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

  • If you don't clean your plate, you won't get any dessert.

  • If you don't do it NOW, then when are you going to do it?

  • If you don't quit that, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week.

  • If you don't stop crying, I am going to give you something to cry about!

  • If you fall out of that tree and break your leg , don't come running to me.

  • If you keep acting like a baby, I'll treat you like one.

  • If you'd open your eyes as big as you open your mouth maybe you'd find it!

  • If you're bored I can find chores for you to do.

  • If you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to play outside.

  • It's no use crying over spilt milk.

  • Just wait till your father gets home.

  • Leave your sister (brother) alone!

  • Look at me when I'm talking to you.

  • Look at this room! It looks like a pigsty!

  • Money does NOT grow on trees.

  • No child of MINE would do something like that.

  • No one ever said life was fair.

  • No, I don't know where your shoes are. It's not my day to watch them!

  • Nobody asked you.

  • Now, come back downstairs and go back up WITHOUT stomping your feet!

  • Now, say you're sorry...and MEAN it!

  • Over my dead body!

  • Pick that up before somebody trips on it and breaks their neck!

  • Pick up your feet.

  • Running away? Don't let the door hit you in the rear.

  • Running away? I'll help you pack.

  • Running away? Is that a threat or a promise?

  • Running away? Send me a postcard when you get there!

  • Say that again and I'll wash your mouth out with soap.

  • Serves you right!

  • Shut the door! I'm not paying to heat the entire neighborhood!

  • So what if it's raining? You're not sugar -- you won't melt.

  • Someone is going to end up crying.

  • Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall.

  • This hurts me more than it hurts you.

  • This is why we can't have nice things.

  • Turn off that light. Do you think we own the electric company?

  • Turn that racket (music) down!

  • Watch your language!

  • Watch your mouth!

  • We can't always get what we want. You might as well learn that now.

  • Well, people in Hades want ice water, but do you see me with a PITCHER?

  • What did I say the FIRST time?

  • What do you mean carry you? I carried you for nine months!

  • What have I done to deserve such ungrateful children?

  • What part of NO don't you understand?

  • What's wrong with you???

  • When I was your age, I had to walk ten miles through the snow, uphill, by myself, to go to school.

  • When you have kids of your own you'll understand.

  • When you have your own house then you can make the rules!

  • Where do YOU think you're going?

  • Who died and left you boss?

  • Who do you think you are - the Queen of Sheba?

  • Who do you think you're talking to?

  • Who said life was going to be easy?

  • Who taught you THAT? You didn't learn that in this house!

  • Why? Because I SAID so, that's why!

  • Yeah, well, one day you'll thank me.

  • Yes, I AM the boss of you.

  • You are getting on my last nerve.

  • You can go out to play...after you pick up your room.

  • You can't find it? Well, I can't find it for you. I didn't wear it!

  • You can't find it? Well, if you'd put things where they belonged, you wouldn't have this problem.

  • You don't know what hard work is.

  • You had better wipe that smile off your face before I do it for you.

  • You have an answer for everything, don't you?

  • You just ate an hour ago!

  • You kids are trying to drive me crazy!

  • You made your bed, now lie in it.

  • You must think rules are made to be broken.

  • You should have that phone surgically implanted in your ear.

  • You WILL eat it, and you WILL like it!

  • You won't be happy until you break that, will you?

  • You'd forget your head if it wasn't attached to your shoulders!

  • You're the oldest. You should know better.

  • Your shoes have to be somewhere. They didn't walk out of the house by themselves!


Joyfully Rejoycing
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