Monday, January 02, 2012

Killing Them Off -- A New Year's Resolution

Oh dem bones. I have realized I spent a great deal of time in a state of aggravation due to asking Rhetorical Questions, particularly of the parent variety. So, for 2012, I am pledging to do my best to lay to rest the following:

What were you thinking!?!
Why did you do that?!?
Is that really a good idea?!?
Does this go here?
Why why why?!?
Are you using your head!?!
What did you think I would say?!?
What did you think would happen?
Can anyone else in this house...
...replace toilet paper?
...put things away?
...toss laundry in the hamper?
...close it if you opened it?

And so on.

Largely because these are passive aggressive and not really what I mean.

So I want to say what I mean.

Fill the pitcher when you empty it, please.
Put on a fresh roll of toilet paper when you use the last bit, please.
When you get a flying toy stuck on the roof, come ask us for help solving that problem, please.
Put away those toys where they go, please.
What are your ideas to fix this?

And so on.

More constructive talk.

Less of all the rest.

How about you?


Karen Jensen said...

This is good, even for a non parent. Be direct. Say what you mean.

Julie Pippert said...

Thanks, Karen, I agree. Especially since a lot of it really is intended to shame (for lack of a better word). It's either/or or a combo of "why can't you do it right" or "why can't you be better" or "why can't you read my mind?"

Be direct. Say what you mean -- exactly.

Christine said...

love this!!!

me: learn tarot, write more, read more, love my body.


Ed T. said...

I will do my best to limit my use of rhetorical questions to (a) comments on blog posts, or (b) various social networking sites.



Magpie said...

i want to hear more about the flying toy on the roof...

MommyTime said...

I love this. It's an excellent reminder. I've been trying hard to add my "please" at the end of what otherwise sound like demands. It's not right, really, that my kids have to ask nicely and I get to command all the time. Especially when lots of the things I ask really don't need to be commands. (The first time around, it really should be "put your laundry away, please.") I'm going to work on the rest too, thanks to this great post.

Julie Pippert said...

Christine, I strongly support you on the write more but that is me being selfish! :) You can do it all. Cool list.

Ed, let me know how that goes will you?

Magpie, well it was really it *is* a little RC sort of jet pack astronaut the kids got someplace over the holidays. They keep landing it on the roof. Well, the time before last (this last time being the last because it's still on the roof) they decided to use a dead tree to climb to the roof and retrieve the toy. Let's just say the toy was not retrieved (until my husband came out) but the tree is completely toppled over and the children now understand why we said DO NOT GO NEAR THE DEAD TREE. I will end by saying there is not a broken bone or hurt child and that's because God watches out for fools and children. Usually. ;)

Julie Pippert said...

MommyTime, yes, so true! They learn from us, right? And it sets a tone. I do try to start with the kind and polite request. I want to find a better ending. Hopefully this is it. Thanks!

StarTraci said...

That is a great resolution! I am terribly guilty of the passive aggressive questions to the air. I often pointedly speak to my children in front of my husband trying to tell him something by talking to them. For example, "Mommy really needs you to pick up your dirty clothes and put them in the hamper". I'm really saying that more to my husband than my son. I should ask for what I want or stop expecting to get it!

My resolution is to give myself a break and enjoy life a little more.

Happy 2012!

Mary G said...

Well told! I am about to post my resolution for this year, but it is nowhere near as strong as yours. You are a good and thoughtful mom. And person.