Parentisms: passive-aggressive lines every parents says

(ThinkStock Photos)(ThinkStock Photos)There's no handbook for being a parent, but I'm starting to think there is a glossary of terms. While every mom and dad is different, there are some turns of phrase that seem universal to everyone who's ever raised a kid. When parents wants to assert their authority on their progeny regardless of age, they reach into the archive of phrases designed to trigger eye-rolls. The formula is classically passive-aggressive: part-threat, part reassurance. It's hard to understand why these lines are employed, since I'm not a parent, but I'm sure there's a totally rational reason. Here are a few classic examples:

  • "You're lucky you're cute."
  • "If I didn't love you, I'd kill you."
  • "When you're a parent you'll understand."
  • "Are you sure you're not doing it wrong?"
  • "Well, your father thinks you're very pretty."
  • "I'm just worried how people will treat you."
  • "If you think you're going to just ___, you've got another thing coming."
  • And of course...."Look at you, you look like [insert reference to long-forgotten celebrity that is difficult to interpret as either an insult or a compliment]."

Have your parents dropped these gems on you? And do you ever surprise yourself by using these phrases on your kids? Feel free to share add to the glossary of parentisms...

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