Parenting 101 or the Use of Subtext

I'm titling this blog Parenting 101 because I'm sure every parent out there has had a similar experience with their own brood.

While the term subtext might be more of a 'writerly' type of word, most people use it in their everyday encounters . . . they just don't realize that they are using it.

For example:

This bit of conversation went down in our house after church and brunch just this last Sunday . . .

Dad: "R you might want to make your bed."

Kidlet: "Okay." As she plots down on the sofa to play games on her phone.

Mom (Me): "You might want to go upstairs and make your bed now."

Kidlet: "Why?"

Me: "Your dad just told you to."

Kidlet: "No, he didn't."

Me: "Yes, he did. It's in the subtext. He wasn't mildly suggesting that you should eventually make your bed. He was inferring that you get your behind upstairs and make it NOW."

Kidlet: "Oh." She puts her phone up and goes upstairs.

Of course, when I was taking the laundry upstairs to fold, I discovered the kidlet lying in bed . . .

You may insert your own typical conversation with your own child at this point of the story.

So, the next time you eavesdrop on a conversation observe the way words are said and the body language of the people involved.

It provides great amusement while you are waiting in line at the grocery store or the DMV.

Later, Peeps!


Marilyn said...

LOL. I grew up with a mom who had no time or patience for subtlety. When she wanted us to do something, she sad it straight out, and she made sure we knew the consequences of disobeying.

Oh, I do love eavesdropping in public. We learn so much about people that can be applied to our work. :-)

Margaret Golla said...

Sometimes, I wonder about that child of mine, especially when blunt doesn't even make an impression!