All About Parent-to-Parent Dynamics
How to Decode Parentspeak
Parents don't always say what they mean. Thanks to Metrodad.com, we scored a useful translation of some common parenting phrases.
- When they say: Let's do a playdate next Saturday.
What they mean: Will you please watch my kid next Saturday so I can get some free time to myself? I'm begging you!
- When they say: We're so tired by the end of the day.
What they mean: We haven't had sex in ages.
- When they say: We're not sure when we're having another.
What they mean: We're not sure we even want another. The one we have right now is kicking our butts! How do people have more than one kid?
- When they say: He certainly has a lot of energy!
What they mean: Your kid is a hyperactive monster! He must drive you insane. I pity you.
- When they say: Looks like you could fit a whole soccer team in that car!
What they mean: Since you have a minivan, will you drive my kids to the soccer game next week?
- When they say: That's such a cute age.
What they mean: I remember when my kids liked me. They'll get older and hate your guts.
Just Say No to Plans -- Guilt-Free
Follow this smart advice from Parents manners columnist Peggy Post, etiquette expert at The Emily Post Institute, in Burlington, Vermont.
- How to get out of a "Mommy and Me" class
Be straightforward. Simply say, "It's been great, but my life's just gotten pretty crazy. I need to cut something out, and I'm afraid this has to be it."
- How to get uninvited to yet another jewelry (or kitchen-gadget or scrapbooking) party
People will stop inviting you when you stop saying you'll go. Tell the hostess, "I can't buy anything, so you really should give my spot to someone who'll appreciate the invite." That should scare everybody away.
- How to tell your neighbor you don't want to carpool
Be up-front, but take the blame. Say, "I thought carpooling would work for me, but I'm so anxious when someone else is driving Johnny." If it's a relationship you want to preserve, add something like, "I wanted to be honest, but I still want us to do things together." Then set a date to meet.
What to Do If You See Your Neighbor's Babysitter Doing Something Questionable
- Is this something most parents would have a problem with?
- Would I want to know if it were my nanny?
If you answer yes to either of these questions, you can feel confident that you're doing the right thing by telling the parent what you saw, says Washington, D.C., clinical social worker Jennifer Kogan. But remember, some people might not want you to butt into their private life no matter how good your intentions, so if you sense the mom really isn't interested in any details, move on. You've done what you can.