Moments of recollection can come at the oddest times. It can be something you observe. It can be something you hear. It can be something you taste, touch or smell. It can happen at moments you don’t expect. But they come, whether you want them or not.

As the parent of older kids, I frequently think about times past when I was young, recalling my parents’ style of parenting, both good and bad. I have attempted to glean from their experience and wisdom as I continue to raise my children. However, there were those times when I was young that I would think to myself ‘I will never say that when I’m a parent.

Ya, uh huh, OK.


But, as the kids and I were driving to the farmer’s market a few weeks ago, they were being particularly rambunctious and I exclaimed with a raised tone “Settle down! This car is NOT a gymnasium!” They did calm down but I was pathetically staring at myself in the rear view mirror. All I could think was ‘It’s finally happened. I’ve become my parents!’ I had proclaimed one those parental clichés. What had I done? Then the moment of recollection happened. I started to recall virtually every parental cliché that I’ve said over the past fifteen years. I also realized they were increasing with frequency as they got older.

I shared my experience with a few friends. They admitted openly and humorously that they had also fallen victim to what we joked as PCS (Parental Cliché Syndrome). So, with their help, I compiled a list of every cliché we could recall. How is your memory of these common ones?

  • This is not a gymnasium.
  • Because I said so.
  • Are your legs broken? (I used this one this morning) J
  • Are your arms broken?
  • We will get there when we get there.
  • Let’s play the ‘quiet’ game.
  • Let’s play the ‘clean up’ game.
  • You wipe that look off of your face or I’ll wipe it off for you.
  • Get away from the bathroom door.
  • Don’t you use that tone with me.
  • Were you raised by wolves?
  • Shut the door…were you born in a barn?
  • Turn out the lights when you leave the room.
  • I’m not asking, I’m telling.
  • If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?
  • As long as you live here, you live by my rules.
  • Don’t look at me with those eyes.
  • You’ll thank me one day.
  • Quiet…I can’t hear myself think.
  • If you want to act like a child, I’ll treat you like one.
  • I don’t care who started it.
  • What part of no don’t you understand?
  • Don’t make me turn this car around (or pull it over).
  • Come here and pull my finger. (My Dad’s favorite)
  • Life’s not fair. Get used to it.
  • If you keep making that face it will freeze that way.
  • When you have kids, I hope they turn out just like you.

I cannot confirm or deny that I have said more than one of these, on occasion. I’ve also heard a few of these (or more). Maybe it is inevitable that we become our parents. In my case, that’s not a bad thing.

How did you fair? Are there any I missed?

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9 Replies to “27 Parental Clichés You Vowed You’d Never Say

  1. My dad used to always respond to my question of ‘What are you doing?’ with ‘What? Are you writing a book?’ One day, I finally said, ‘What if I am? You don’t know.’ He responded: ‘Then make it a love story and kiss my ass.’ I’m pretty sure he was holding onto that one for some time. 😀

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