What Children Say And What They Really Mean

Children can sometimes say things which we adults might perceive as something else.

We’ve already looked at what parents say and what they really mean. But what about the kids? Our little people are still learning how the world works, so it’s not surprising that their comments often diverge slightly from reality. Here are 17 things that kids commonly say, and what they really mean.

Toddlers And Preschoolers

1. They say: “But I don’t NEED the toilet”.

Translation: “We both know that I’ll be bursting for a pee as soon as we’re on the motorway.”

2. They say: “Of course I’ll eat it. I really like broccoli”.

Translation: “I might nibble the corner for show, but there’s no way I’m going to put such a monstrosity in my mouth.”

3. They say: “Can I stop now? My tummy hurts.”

Translation: “I really, really don’t want that broccoli”.

4. They say: “I’m tiiiiired”.

Translation: “I do not want to do what you just said”.

5. They say: “What’s for dinner?”
Translation: “Say ‘pasta’, or I’m going to cry.”

6. They say: “NO!”

Translation: “I’m not even listening to what you’re suggesting now… just want to be stubborn.”

7. They say: “Arggghhhhh, I’ve hurt myself! Argghhhh! It’s bleeding!””

Translation: “I have a tiny, microscopic scratch on my knee that you might just be able to see if you look closely.”

8. They say: “I didn’t even want to go to the swings ANYWAY”.

Translation: “Whatever you say or do at this point, I’m going to argue the opposite - even if it contradicts what I said 2 minutes before.”

9. They say: “Muuuuum… can I take this snail shell home?”

Translation: “You’d better let me take this snail shell home, or you’ll never hear the end of it.”

10. They say: “Have you seen Yasmin the Unicorn?”

Translation: “If we don’t find Yasmin the Unicorn in less than a minute, I’m going to have a meltdown. The clock is ticking…”

11. They say: “Dad, dad… come and look at this!”

Translation: “I’m doing something really mundane but you better feign enthusiasm or I’ll go into a grump.”

12. They say: “She started it!”

Translation: “She did one thing that was mildly irritating. I’ve been waging a war of annoyance for the past 20 minutes in disproportionate retaliation. But still, she started it.”

School Kids

13. They say: “I’ll come in a minute. Just want to do one more thing on my game.”

Translation: “I’m trying to defeat the end-of-level baddie. I might do it in a few seconds, or it might take me 17 attempts. Either way, this is more important than eating my lasagne.”

14. They say: “But all my friends have got one!”

Translation: “Best Mate said she was getting one for her birthday.”

15. They say: “I’ll tidy it up later”.

Translation: “YOU’LL tidy up later, when you’ve got sick of nagging me.”

16. They say: “I can’t remember” [what I did at school]

Translation: “Your question ‘what did I get up to at school today?’ has a million possible answers. Which bit are you interested in? What should I tell you about? Easiest to just say I can’t remember.”

17. They say: “.......”

Translation: “I have become a teenager.”

See Also

11 Items You’ll Only Recognise if you Have Kids

36 Ways People Can Just Tell You Have Kids

14 Things That Always Happen When Reading To Kids

6 Inventions Every Parent Would Like To See



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