Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
I am Charlie Brown's incomprehensible teacher. I don't know how it happened but it did. I think it happens to all parents. No matter what parents think they're saying, I've discovered that it's not what children are hearing.
So after years of intense studies at places like Chuck E. Cheese and playgrounds I've discovered that there are certain things that parents say that children just clearly hear differently. (Mind you, I don't say all of these but I've heard them at least a thousand times.) So I offer to you my What Parents Say / What Kids Hear Dictionary:
"Clean your room" = Go upstairs and sit on your bed and complain about your parents for half an hour even if you're in the room alone.
"Do your homework" = Stare at your page, sigh every few seconds, and ask for snacks every second minute.
"You've got to get in the bath, we've got to brush your teeth, and we've got to get ready because we're really really late" = Play time!
"Share" = Gimme!
"Your bed time is 8:30" = What is the bed time of everyone of your friends in your grade? And start with the ones who are allowed to stay up all night.
"Be nice" = Be mean...just more quietly.
"Turn off the tv" = Turn up the volume so you don't have to hear me.
"I'm going to leave without you" = I'm going to stand by the door until kingdom come while you gather toys in your arms to take in the car.
"Get dressed" = Walk around aimlessly for ten minutes staring off as if you expect the clothes God to rain a wardrobe down on you.
"I don't know if we can do that. We'll see." = I don't know but if you ask me a hundred more times that might just improve your chances.
"Maybe" = Yes.
"Say your prayers" = Say your prayers at lightning speed to make so that only God can understand it.
"Say you're sorry!" = Say sorry but say it like you're giving you're giving your name, rank, and serial number to violent interrogators.
"Look both ways before you cross the street" = Dart out like deer after any stray ball.
"Stop crying" = Cry more.
"Mom's on her way home" = We have to clean up.
"Dad's on his way home" = Dad's gonna' turn off Phineas and Ferb and watch stupid Fox News.
"I'll get the neosporin" = I'm going to torture you for your own good. Muhuhahaha!
"I'll get the ice and a band aid" = Everything's going to be alright.
"I love you" = Everything is alright.
This is far from a comprehensive list and I'd love to have any additions that I've overlooked.