Parenting always requires a certain degree of sarcasm. Take this saying that you probably hear more often than you realize from moms and dads: “or not.”
Some people have good listening skills, and some don’t. Kids generally don’t. This is where this gem of a saying comes in.
Say your son is walking by and you ask him to help with something. Here’s how the conversation goes:
Parent: “Son, can you come and clean up the mess you made in the living room?”
Son: *walks away, seemingly oblivious to the question.*
Parent: “Oooor not.”
You hear it at the mall, in classrooms, in churches. “Or not” is a parent’s way of saying “Yep, not listening to me again. Sigh.”
Another method is taking the child’s arm, stopping him and asking the question again. This can be effective, but comes with a higher chance of frustration, especially if the situation escalates to flat-out refusal. Then that frustration can turn into anger, or sadness, that the child is not the robot that he was supposed to be. I guess robot kids just aren’t feasible yet.
Oh well. Real kids are still better than robot kids anyway, even if they’re messier, cry more and you can’t shut them down whenever you want. And when they don’t act the way we want, at least we can fall back on “or not”-style parental sarcasm. It’s okay to just let it go once in a while.
Now all you need to do is pass this post on to ten friends…