Parent Translate: Things Parents Say And What They Really Mean

Every profession has its jargon. Those little buzz words or catchphrases you pick up on the job, and quickly start to drop to show you know what you’re doing.

Parenting is no exception.

There is a special language you need to learn to help come out on top in the daily debates and conferences you hold with your child.

It can be handy to know the coded meanings behind this parenting parlance to aid your own understanding of what other grown-ups are saying.

The important thing is to keep their true meaning a secret from your offspring for as long as you possibly can.

Here are a few key phrases of The Mother Tongue:


What Parents Say

What They Actually Mean

Play Nicely

Stop attacking that child. (I am sorry my child is attacking yours.)

You’ll Have To Wait Your Turn

That child has been on the swing for ages, their parent really ought to let someone else have a go now.

As A Special Treat You Can Have XXX

I can’t be bothered to cook a proper meal.

Would You Like To…?

We are going to do this anyway, but I’m pretending you have a choice in the matter.

Let’s Play Putting All Those Things Into This Box

Tidy up.

All Gone

You are not eating anymore biscuits.

I Forgot My Purse

Ice creams from the van cost a fortune and we have lollies in the freezer at home.

It’s Out Of Order

I am not paying £2 to stand here for 10 minutes watching you ride up and down in Peppa Pig’s car.

You’ll Have To Ask XXX’s Mummy

I don’t want you to eat chocolate this close to bedtime, XXX’s Mummy had better realise from my tone of voice that they need to tell you, ‘No’.


Damn! I forgot to pack any snacks. Please, XXX’s Mummy, can we share yours?

Not Now

I am distracted and not paying you any attention whatsoever.

In A Minute

Hopefully you’ll forget you even asked, because I really can’t be bothered with the hassle.



This Mum's Life

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