Your best one-liners

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by seriously, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Do you have one-liners that you use to deflect, disengage, delay or distract your difficult child when they are trying to argue, demand your attention, intrude in a conversation?

    I have learned to use a couple but I tend to long-windedness (hoots and guffaws from audience). I think I need to improve this skill so please share your best or the ones that work for you.

    I will be ever so grateful.

    My current mainstay is:

    I'll get back to you about that.

    If they don't stop then I come back with:

    If you really need an answer right now then the answer is NO. (or yes if appropriate).
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Not sure if it's a "one liner" but I have a humorous kind of technique I use sometimes when, as happens on a VERY regular basis, J wants something that is not good or wise for him to have; to get round the incendiary "no", I say, smiling "I want to whisper something in your ear!" This turns into a game, with him giggling and mock-protesting, and by the time I whisper the terrible "no" into his ear, with lots of exaggerated drama on my part, he is usually in laughing, cheerful mood and able to accept the boundary...

    But this probably would only work with a small child??
  3. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    When I need to keep my voice calm, and it is totally imposable to use my normal voice (Because he found all the buttons). I use the Hal voice and say, "I'm sorry difficult child, I'm afraid I can't do that."
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    thank you used to ask the same question a gazillion times in about a nanosecond. And then he'd try to argue because I never answered the way he wanted. Thanks to Law & Order, my stock response was "Asked and answered." It actually made him think for a couple seconds to try to remember what his question was and what my answer was, LOL.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I've used the "if you need an answer this second, it is NO" several times.

    If they pester me repeatedly? The answer is NO.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'm sorry you feel that way.

    I'm not having this conversation right now. (or not with the "right now" depending on the subject)

    Because I said so.

    ETA: I used to try to explain myself. You know how we always said, "I'm never going to tell my child 'because I said so'". However, my difficult child can twist and turn a conversation so that you have no idea where you even started. She should be a politician.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Oh, another one... When Onyxx is asking why don't we just throw away everything in her room... "OK, if that's what you want." In a monotone.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?" When I get a 'lame' reason for XYZ
    If they say I'm being mean, "That's right! I'm MEAN, and I'm NASTY!!!!!!!!" and I growl that one - used to make them laugh now they roll their eyes.
    "Does not compute, does not compute" in robot voice

    Now my latest is something I used with telemarketers that just wouldn't accept NO as an answer, but it's working on the kids too. "The dog proximity in the celestial plain is covered in fuzzy snakes." the words can change all the time, just needs correct sentence structure.
  9. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Life is not fair. Get used to it.

    Why, yes I am. And that's Ms. B!tch to you.
  10. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I am surprised Star hasn't dropped in with all her one liners ... Cause she has some good ones !!! LOL

    Anyhow, when my difficult child is complaining about something he or I have no control over my generic response is always, " I am not sure why that is Buddy" also, if he is threatening something (non harmful, of course) I will say , " OK, if that is how you want to handle it, go right ahead"

    It is a challenge and quite frankly sometimes, depending on how bad his day is I just ignore,ignore,ignore ... Good Luck!
  11. wintak

    wintak New Member

    Mine's not really a one liner...but it stops difficult child in his tracks.

    difficult child "I AM GOING TO CALL THE POLICE ON YOU"
    me "I'm ok with that"

    me "I'm willing to take that chance"
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I love this thread!!! :rollingpin::bravo:
  13. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    HOw about , I love you too much to say yes.

    but so and so parents let them do xyz.

    guess I love you more than so and so's parents love him.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    i love that one, pepperidge!

    We have some useful one-liners courtesy of Aussie political lines. For example, a former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser (famously introduced to the American people by Jimmy Carter as "my good friend JOHN Fraser"!) once said "Life was not meant to be easy," when challenged on the state of the economy.
    A later PM Paul Keating said (when he was Treasurer, before he was PM), "This is the recession we had to have." He had a lot of lines, including one about Australia being a banana republic.

    Politicians do provide good fodder...

    When we were touring NZ with easy child & SIL1, they tackled difficult child 3's random contributions to the conversation by suddenly talking about aerials. They discussed what colour aerial they would buy. We had to explain to difficult child 3, but he soon learned that talking about pink aerials was code for "You're being random and we're not accepting it." Even now, I can't think about NZ without visualising pink aerials all over the place!

  15. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I think I'm just going to start quoting Yogi Berra at Kiddo.
  16. erbaledge

    erbaledge New Member

    "I'm sorry you feel that way." - that one, my gfg16 now totally flips out when I use it, so I am trying to not use it. I only began using it as a way to show empathy, alas not working so well with her.
    The other two, no issues with it.
  17. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Mine was always "I'll need to think about that--I'm not gonna decide right now, with you yelling at me." When he kept yelling, I moved to "You're just delaying my process of quiet reflection." Then I'd open the New Yorker and start reading it while he shouted. This didn't calm him down, but it worked for me.
  18. seriously

    seriously New Member

    I no longer start sentences with "I'm sorry" for several different reasons. My kids don't see it as empathetic - just patronizing. And frankly most of the time a sentence out of my mouth that started with that would in fact be patronizing. So I don't use that phrase if I can avoid it.

    If I feel like empathy is called for I try to name the feeling or problem I am empathizing with: "That sounds like it must hurt." "You sound frustrated" "It's tough when things don't work out the first time."

    My easy child/difficult child is a serious whiner at times. She will go on and on about how I am a terrible parent, how much she hates her family, how she's leaving the day she turns 18.

    For a while I got mad and argued. Duh. Why was I teaching her to argue? She's already good at that.

    My therapist suggested that I started agreeing with everything she said and and exaggerating her complaints. I was doubtful but figured I had nothing to lose by trying it.

    "You are a terrible parent" - you're right. I am the worst parent on the face of the planet. I am the dumbest, stupidest parent ever.
    "I'm leaving the day I turn 18" - I am sure you will be much happier living on your own. Your life will be so much easier when you don't have to deal with my interference in your life at all.
    "You know better than to talk to me when I'm mad. Shut up." - you are so right honey. I should know that you are mad at me and not say a single word. How can you stand to live with me?
    "You never let me do anything fun" - you're right of course. I would not want you to have any fun - ever. I have forced you to be a complete hermit. I never let you have friends over. I am completely unwilling to let go to the movies or anything fun at all.

    After doing this a few times, easy child/difficult child got pretty frustrated. One day we were driving in the car on the way to her therapy session. She had been whining and I was totally agreeing with her that I am an awful parent and she deserved better. The worst parent on the planet.

    There was this silence from the back seat.

    Then she says in tones of righteous accusation " You are PATRONIZING me!"

    OMG I nearly wet my pants I had to work so hard not to laugh.

    "Am I?" I said. "I am sooo sorry about that. I would never want you to feel that I am patronizing you." I said in the sweetest most mournful voice I could muster.

    I'm surprised her eyes didn't fall out of her head she rolled them so hard. "You are doing it AGAIN!!!" she shouted.

    "I am sooo sorry dear. I will try really hard not to ever patronize you again."

    ARGH she cried and actually started pulling on her hair.

    I hardly ever have to do that anymore. As soon as I start agreeing with her she gives me a dirty look and goes away.

    Unfortunately, this doesn't work with difficult child 2 most of the time. When his brain is out of synch, he cannot handle that kind of abstract thinking. He's not just whining to get his way. He truly believes what he's saying and cannot understand why we act the way we do.

    If I agree with him and tell him he's right, I am the worst parent on the planet, he becomes even more frustrated and out of touch with reality. If I agree with him about that, why won't I agree to let him play his Xbox 24 hours a day or eat all 8 cans of peaches at once or refuse to let anyone else choose the TV show we're all going to watch? It just doesn't make sense and he just gets more agitated.
  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    "Really? What do you intend to do about that?" (After hearing about how so-and-so did all these horrible things to her)

    "That's not my problem." (The all-purpose one)

    And then...the one that deflects her now..."Just let your therapist know how awful I am."
  20. hamlet

    hamlet New Member

    Here are some of mine:

    I'll be happy to talk that over with you when you can calm down and speak respectfully.

    I am not going to answer that right now. You are going to have to give me time to think about it.

    I wish that you would xyz. If you make a choice not to xyz, then I will have to think of a consequence for that.

    I know you expect a response from me, but I have not determined what that will be. I will get back to you when I decide.

    Your behavior is out of control and I suggest you go to your room until you can control it.