The parenting phrases that get us through the holidays

 Photo: Getty Images

As we make our way through the school holidays, tens of thousands of parents the country over are in the throes of entertaining children with activities, days out and numerous play dates.  

But what else are parents doing the country over in order to get through the holidays?    

According to my research, they're pulling out their most common parenting catchphrases - along with some of their hair - on a daily basis. 

I've asked around, and listened closely to one household (okay, mine), and here are just a few of these much used holiday phrases. Play bingo with them tomorrow - can you get through the day without saying them all?

'Use your normal voice, NOT your whining voice' 

Regularly used throughout the day, this phrase is aimed at our darling cherubs in response to their delightful whining tones when things aren't quite going according to plan.

Whether it be because they are 'soooo hungry', 'soooo bored' or just because life is 'sooo unfair', the whining voice of a child is akin to nails on a chalkboard.

'Okay, I'm not going to ask you again ...' 

Repeated anywhere between 10-1000 times a day, this phrase is a favourite among parents at the best of times and is usually followed by a threat of some description.


However, regardless of the threat of no screen time, no play dates or no more treats, the chances are that your request will still be ignored ... so you WILL ask them again and again and again.

'If you do that again to your brother/sister, you'll be in big trouble'

One of the best parts of school holidays is the bonding time that siblings get to enjoy together ... or not, as the case may be. 

After the first few hours on day one, the bickering commences ... then continues for most of the break. Parents armed with only words and limited patience will don their referee hats and threaten big trouble repeatedly.  

'It's not my fault'

One of the many challenges of parenting is being responsible for EVERYTHING that goes wrong in the world, and this is particularly the case in the holidays.

The library is shut: your fault. The ice-cream shop has run out of a favourite flavour: your fault. The slide at the park is too hot from the sun: you guessed it, your fault.

Trying to explain this to your child however is not so easy, and despite numerous conversations starting with 'it's not my fault', they are very reluctant to be convinced.

'Okay, I'm sick of hearing it'

One of the most common idiosyncrasies of children is their inability to let some things go. 

Whether it's nagging for a new toy, a request to use the iPad or a tale about how their sibling hit them over the head, totally unprovoked, it can be exhausting when you hear it 5000 times a day.

'Well, you're still not allowed'

According to most children their friends are allowed to do so much more than them - and, of course, this is 'totally unfair'.

Their friends get to stay up late, spend 18 hours a day on the iPad and gorge daily on foods of no nutritional value.

Our child's suffering is only added to when we agree about how wonderful their friends' parents must be, before finishing by saying, "Well you're still not allowed!".

'There's not an endless supply of money, you know'

Any parent will know that school holidays can be more expensive than any other time of the year. 

What with day trips, lunches out, entry fees and obligatory snacks and ice creams, the cost of the break can soon add up.

However, with little knowledge of the value of money, children will continue to throw requests at parents in an attempt to bleed their wallets dry ... not to mention the soil around the money tree in the garden!