Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sarcasm and Parenting

If you've read much of my blog, then you know that I can be a bit sarcastic at times. It is kind of my way of coping so I don't have a complete nervous breakdown. In fact, that statement right there could be considered sarcastic, unless you know me. Then you would understand how close I really am to a nervous breakdown.

But I digress...the point is that I have a sarcastic streak in my personality and sometimes that sarcasm slips out when I am dealing with my kids. This works fine with my daughter because she enjoys my sarcastic humor. My son on the other hand doesn't get it at all. His favorite line in response to my sarcasm is "Dad...don't be mean."

Last night is a perfect example. I have been having a very busy week and so I haven't had time to implement some of the suggestions I've received for dealing with the clothes in my son's bathroom. So last night I said to my son "Could you please pick up the pile of clothes in the bathroom?" He replied "Yeah". Now if you don't have a teenager, let me translate for you. The teenage translation of "Yeah" is "Go away, I'm watching my favorite television program."

A couple hours later I went downstairs to turn out all the lights and Gibson was lying in bed reading and the pile of clothes was still in the bathroom. So I said "You still haven't picked up the clothes in the bathroom." He replied "Oh yeah...I'll do it in the morning." **Sarcasm Alert** "Well don't strain yourself, I wouldn't want you to work too hard." "Dad...don't be mean."

Fast forward to the morning. Gibson comes upstairs after his shower wearing a towel and says "Dad...I don't have any clean underwear." **Sarcasm Alert** "That's because they are all lying on the floor in your bathroom!" "Dad...don't be mean." Then my daughter Emma walked into the room and said "What are you guys arguing about now?" And that's when the following exchange took place.

Gibson: "Dad is being mean."
Emma: "How is Dad being mean?"
Gibson: "Last night when I didn't clean my bathroom he said 'Don't strain yourself, I wouldn't want you to work too hard'".
Emma: "Gibson...that is called sarcasm. People use it sometimes when they are annoyed."


Unknown said...

I guess the situation that you were in was perfect for a natural consequence. Your Son: Where are my clothes dad? Your Answer: I really believe that it must be hard for you right now. I am pretty sure you will handle this situation differently the next time.I believe in you and I know you will do the right thing.

Janeen T, aka: Ben's Mommy said...

Sarcasm is critical for my survival! It's fun when kids "get" it. Sounds like Emma's on her way to figuring it out...

Shantell Brightman said...

Are you sure we don't live in the same house or have the same kids? *Sarcasm* This is all too familiar... :)

Single Dad Brad said...

Hey Ms. Shantell...You mean it is YOUR son who has been leaving his clothes on our bathroom floor? I guess I owe my son an apology. ;-)

I am Janeen...Emma can run circles around me sarcastically. She definitely inherited the StreetWise gene from her mom.

And for the record my son is such a sweet kid and very smart. (He always gets straight A's) But I am trying to help him out with the StreetWise and common sense part of life. This morning he grabbed the kitchen towel and cleaned up some spilled milk on the floor. I should be celebrating...right? But then he took the same towel that he was using on the floor and hung it back up on the oven handle.

Shantell Brightman said... least he cleaned the milk up! Remember, their prefrontal cortex can only focus on one thing at a time. My daughter (age 9) is way better at common sense than my 14yr old son...practice, practice, practice....right?!