Lifestyle

Communicate before angry button push

COMMUNICATING with your kids is like dieting, exercising or cleaning the kitchen floor. You know you should do it. You feel guilty for not doing it. And every Monday you promise yourself you'll make a bigger effort. But to be fair, it's just not that easy to communicate with kids, especially when they're your own.

For a start, the first few years they don't talk (it's a pity it's not until later you realise these were the golden years of parenting) and once they've learned to talk, you can't get them to shut up. It's one question after another: "Why do I have eyebrows?" "Why can't I have chocolate Paddle Pops for breakfast?" "Why do you and daddy have the bedroom door locked?" and "What happened to the real yellow Wiggle?"

Fast forward a few years and boys do nothing but grunt while the girls mix it up with a little yelling, a lot of dramatic sighs and some high pitched squealing (although it's a given that at this stage whining is still prevalent in both sexes).

And just when you think this phase is going to last forever, they go teenage techno, get a mobile and communication is never the same.

Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to be said for mobile phones. I'd be lost without mine. They're a wonderful invention and a great form of communication. How else would we find out just by standing in a supermarket queue that Phil isn't sure what size nappies to buy and Sandra is pretending to still be at the office because she's forgotten the babysitter wanted to knock off early.

It's hard to miss most adults talking on their mobile phones. They're loud. Especially in supermarkets.

Kids on the other hand are a whole other story. The only thing you'll hear when a teenager is on the phone is the fast and furious clicking of their grimy little fingernails and the odd snigger as they speed type their text messages.

Call me old fashioned but I'm pretty sure Graham Alexander Bell didn't spend all his time inventing the telephone just so we could go back to a form of letter writing.

If I sound a little bitter there's good reason. I still haven't mastered the art of texting. And, in my defence, I've gotta say it's not as easy as it looks. Firstly those letters on my phone are ridiculously tiny. And secondly you need the precision of a skilled surgeon to send a text. Text the message "good luck" without your glasses and you could easily be in trouble. Then there's the whole new text language thing to be learned. My youngest sent me a text the other day and I had to find an interpreter (someone under 25) to tell me what it said. Apparently "hru wud ily cya mwah" is text talk for "Hi Mum, how are you? What are you doing? I love you. Bye, big kiss".

Grateful as I was that my youngest was thinking of me, she should have been thinking of her dental appointment. She was late. It took me almost five minutes but I managed to text back, "Yr l8t 4 dentist appt where r u?". Her reply (which came back in under two seconds) was "yyssw kyho". I had to refer "yyssw kyho" to my interpreter. The translation? "Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, whatever. Keep your hair on". My reaction? I'm still looking for the buttons.

Family Taming is a weekly humour column written by Wendy Andrews.

Topics:  opinion




Two drivers allegedly more than three times over the limit

"People just need to consider their plan B.”

A special week for Legacy

NOT FORGOTTEN: Legacy widows lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in Memorial Park, Grafton, on Sunday, to start Legacy Week, the organisation's only fundraiser for the year.

Legacy week is vital for widows of Australian servicemen.

Improved passenger numbers protect Grafton Airport

Clarence Valley Council airports coordinator, Geoff Smith, and Clarence Valley Mayor, Richie Williamson, at the recently completed Grafton airport upgrade.

Regional Express posts a loss, but Grafton Airport won't be affected

Latest deals and offers

Mick Jagger to pay £2.5m to the woman carrying his baby

Mick Jagger is reportedly paying millions to pregnant ballerina

Navy man Keller ready to marry a perfect stranger

Former Navy engineer Keller is a participant in season three of Married At First Sight.

Tattoos are just the surface of Married At First Sight groom.

Ozzy cheated with 5 women in 5 countries: Sharon

Sharon Osbourne claims her husband Ozzy has cheated on her

The Big Music Quiz gives The Block a run for its money

Darren McMullen hosts the TV series The Big Music Quiz.

NEW challenger in TV ratings race shakes up Sunday night.

Britney Spears calls Carpool Karaoke appearance "awkward"

Britney Spears admits her Carpool Karaoke segment was "awkward"

Mariah Carey's sister Alison arrested for prostitution

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m