1. “What do you say?”
Means: I want you to say “please.” I want you to understand kindness is more important than always getting everything you want. (But I want you to go after what you want in life, too. Even if right now it’s mainly fruit snacks.)
2. “Because I said so.”
Means: I’m totally out of worthwhile parenting wisdom, and I’m trying not to lose my shit.
3. “Do you want me to take away ____ ?”
Means: Crap. Please don’t be a stinker and say “yes.” Please play nicely so I can go to the bathroom alone.
4. “Stop playing with your food.”
Means: I’m not actually against creating art from dinner leftovers, but I don’t enjoy cleaning and, let’s be honest, that’s where this is going.
5. “Go to timeout.”
Means: I’m one part trying to teach you that actions have consequences and one part trying to get you the hell away from me for two minutes.
6. “Say ‘thank you.'”
Means: I want you to appreciate other people and the things they do for you.
7. “Say ‘you’re welcome.'”
Means: I want you to know that others should appreciate you, too.
8. “Ask your sister if she’s okay.”
Means: I want you to understand we have the power to hurt others, even when we didn’t mean to, but that it’s never too late to let someone know we’re sorry.
Means: No. You can’t always get what you want isn’t just an old song.
10. “I love you.”
Means: More than I’ll ever be able to explain to you, unless you are lucky enough to have kids of your own.