Parenting language has changed beyond all recognition over the decades since I was a child. When I say that, I mean I recognise it all, but if my mother had magically lived on another planet in the intervening years and dropped back to Earth right now, she wouldn’t understand half of what we go on about these days.
I imagine it’s a common situation for grandparents who have taken their eye off the parenting ball since their own children were little and now find themselves negotiating a minefield of new words, phrases and expressions which they are expected to understand and employ in regard to their grandchildren.
Worry no more, grandparents; here’s a handy guide of modern words and phrases and their past equivalents:
‘Challenging’ – Naughty
‘Low self-esteem’ – Quiet
‘Introverted’ – Shy
‘Emotionally Intelligent’ – Kind
‘High-Spirited’ – Badly Behaved
‘Confident With Adults’ – Brat
‘Poorly-Attached’ – Dreamy. Or Clingy
‘Knows His Own Mind’ – Defiant
‘Easy-Going’ – Lazy
‘Borderline ADHD’ – Boisterous
‘Poor Spacial Awareness’ – Clumsy
‘Risk-Taker’ – Delinquent
‘Self-Assured’ – Attention-Seeking
‘Assertive’ – Bossy
‘Emotional Needs’ – Hungry. Or Tired
‘Natural Consequences’ – Punishment
‘Educational Toys’ – Toys
‘Quality Time’ – Time
Some of those common words used back in the day have changed for good reason, they were never very helpful. Some of the originals have just been obscured by fancier terms as normal behaviour has become pathologised. And others have been replaced by euphemisms to cover up the bleedin’ obvious.
Ahh, but which of my examples fit into which of the above categories? It’s working that out that’s the real challenge for grandparents. Hope I’ve been of help.
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