Actually, Some Actuality’s

I always imagined I’d be the worst type of parent. The jury is still out if that is true or not.

As my friends began having children I just didn’t really know what to say or how to act around them. My stomach got squeamish at the thought of holding an infant. What if I drop the thing?

My mind was wired to “adult” when having conversations with kids. I use the term conversations loosely, by the way.

lying-1An example:

Kid – Yesterday I flew in a spaceship to the moon.

Me – There is absolutely zero chance that is true. Stop being a liar.

Proof that I simply did not know how to act around toddlers or elementary-aged kids.

Problem is, I still don’t.

My kid will say outlandish things – I guess that’s just something kids do. It’s not intentional. She isn’t an actual liar and is trying to cover up her tracks so she doesn’t get punished for breaking something. It’s just that her mind drifts between truth and non-truth.

This is a real-life example. Unfortunately, things like this come out of her mouth semi-frequently:

Daddy, you are a pretty girl.

You have got to be the dumbest person I’ve ever met.

Of course, I would never say that out loud. I only think it. And then I catch myself thinking it and get mad for thinking my child is a crazy person whose mental hamster fell off the wheel.

Daddy, you are a pretty girl.

Actually, daddy is a man.

Daddy, you are a pretty man.

Some would find that as a compliment.

Actually, you want to say “handsome man.”

It’s this overall lesson of patience and letting kids figure things out as they go that I continue to have the mental battle with. It’s almost like self-advertising to your children. The theory goes you have to hear or see something seven times before it sinks in. So, I’ll keep correcting my child as politely as I can.

(Although, as she gets older and doesn’t catch on – let’s say when she’s a teenager – then I’ll say things like Listen, imbecile, daddy is not a girl. Unless, of course, I decide to go down the Caitlyn Jenner path. Then I would probably give her a hug. And I digress …)

Point is, I have over-corrected my daughter enough that she now answers in actuality’s. Not truths. Actuality’s.

Honey, do you want to put your shoes on?

Actually, yes.

It’s not like the sentence needed the first-word modifier. And if she said no, I would just have done it anyways – putting shoes on is not an option. I’ve just started so many sentences with Actually because she needs correcting that she uses it a lot. And hardly ever correctly.

I guess it’s just baby steps for both of us. I am not tactlessly verbalizing the fact that she is constantly wrong. And she is starting to learn that not everything she thinks, says or hears is a fact.

So, actually, we’re both making progress.


  1. Here is something that I actually had a problem with and figured out how to solve. This is in regards to you asking your daughter if she wants to put on her shoes. I know the idea is to empower them to make the “right” decisions. I used to do that to. However, now, whenever there is an option for “no” and that isn’t an acceptable answer, I don’t ask a question. I’ll say “It is time to put your shoes on.” and sometimes the response is “But I don’t want to” to which I say “I didn’t ask if you wanted to, I said it is time to put your shoes on.”

    As for thinking kids are dumb, well, yeah. Now you are finally figuring out that you have to be the grown up in those interactions.

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