“Mark My Words”

Teachable moments

As we grow and mature from a young child, to a teen and then an adult, we are often provided with words of wisdom, advice, solicited or unsolicited or other comments from our elders. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even older siblings, offer to us what they consider to be important pieces of knowledge or even life lessons.
Like many, I swore up and down that I would not repeat the same hogwash to my children that I had to endure by those “higher up” know-it-alls.
And like many; I was wrong. I have repeated so many of these comments to my children that I think they are already saying them to each other! Not really, but that would be par for the course.
Some teenage children take GREAT offense to having any adult offer even one slight suggestion of a teachable moment.
When you finally reach an age where you stop and think about these pieces of guidance, you realize, most of the time that “they” were right. Well, not always right.  Some things our parents or others told us were just down right silly, but still, we use them on our children the same way they were used on us.
And of course, until the younger set reaches adulthood, they always know more than the adults.  Even though parents have the best intentions for their children, they don’t always want to hear it because they want to be in control, which I understand. Oh, and they are ALWAYS right and do not like being told what to do!  
Ah, to be young again!
My dad always used to tell me to “Close the door. I’m not heating the whole neighborhood!”
After I mentioned to my dad that my friend Steve was doing something and I wanted to do it as well, my dad would respond with “If Steve jumped off a bridge, would you?”
If I was not hungry or eating much dinner, my dad would say “you don’t eat enough to keep a bird alive.”
Yes, I have repeated them all to my children at some time or another.
Several friends offered me some of their comments as well. How many of these have you heard or said?
“I was never going to say, ‘Life isn’t fair.’ But guess what? Life isn’t fair and I remind my kids all the time.
“When I would complain that my toast was burnt, my grandpa would tell me to eat it, it would put hair on my chest... at which point I would cry and tell him that I was a girl and I didn’t want hair on my chest!”
“You will thank me when you’re older” and “Because I said so!” were big winners.
“I don’t care what all the other kids are doing.”
“Do you want me to stop this car?”
“Shut the door. Were you born in a barn?”
“When you get older and have kids, I hope you have one just like you!”
One of my friends gave me quite a list.
“Talk to me about tired when you’re forty”, “If I would’ve talked to my mom like that I’d have been picking my teeth up of the floor” and “one day you’ll look back and realize I’m right.”
My mom would say, “Someday you are going to have a kid just like you.” Turns out, I do. And I say the same thing to them. I just add, “So choose wisely how YOU want to be!”
“If you cross your eyes, they’ll stay like that” and “If you sit too close to the TV, you will go blind.”
“Whistle while you work. It will fool your brain into thinking you’re enjoying yourself” and “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
“You’re not cleaning it to please you, you are doing it to please me.”
“You’ll eat what I make, I don’t run a restaurant!”
Lest we forget the all time favorite: “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about!”
Mark McGlothlen is a resident of Three Rivers.  He can be reached at McGlothlen42@yahoo.com.

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