An Annoying Child


One of my dear children, and I refuse to say who, is going through a bit of a phase at the moment. This child, though still sweet and loving and wonderful, has picked up some habits lately that I’m not so proud of and in the process become a tad… annoying.

I know, I know, it’s as hard to write as it was to read. This is my own flesh and blood, for crying out loud! It’s so very wrong to admit it, but it’s true. (And, tad was a complete understatement. This child is annoying with a capital A.)

We’ve been ignoring the behavior, hoping it quickly passes and brushing it off as a phase. What else are we supposed to do? The kids grew out of pooping in the tub and out of control pacifier habits and eating nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches, so this must be same kind of thing… right? Lately, however, the possibility has hit me and it’s hit me hard: Maybe it’s not just a phase. Maybe I’m actually raising an annoying child. It’s a horrific thought.

As parents, we work so hard to instill common sense, basic knowledge, and core values in our offspring, but what about their personalities? Is one of our most important jobs really making our children as likable as possible? I’m beginning to think it might be.

I’ve started picturing all of the unbelievably annoying adults I know and realizing that likely their parents are to blame. Parents just like me who naively assumed that the annoying habits would disappear, but instead, they stuck around forever. The children with mildly annoying habits became those horribly annoying adults who nobody ever wants to be around. The overachievers, the center of attentions, the loud eaters, the incessant question askers, the ones who always have to win, the ones who can’t make a decision… All of those horrible habits could have been derailed by well intentioned parents not wanting to overreact.

Well, I may not be able to teach my kids how to dance and they certainly won’t benefit from my mathematics skills, but I’ll do my best to make them likable, dammit. Annoying phases are one thing, but annoying people with my DNA? That’s just unthinkable. Now, I just need to come up with a plan of action, but I know one thing for sure: Things are about to change around here. It’s the least I can do for them.

OK, for me.


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  1. Jennifer says

    I’m pretty sure my child has annoying in her DNA. She’s a “joker.” (aggravator, picker, teaser) She gets it from her dad. I battle with do I try to change her or or do I just let her be who she is. Right now I’m going with let her be who she is while trying to teach her that everyone doesn’t appreciate that particular personality quirk. (that was the weirdest sentence ever)

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  2. Angela says

    My daugher has been saying “shitty” for about three weeks. All the time when she gets mad. she is four. Tried ignoring it, time out etc. Nothing is working. It is getting bad and embarassing!!!!

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    • Karlas says

      My younger brother thought it was funny to teach my son the word “shit” when he was about 3. We had the hardest time breaking him of it until one day out of frustration I blurted out “that he should take his potty talk into the bathroom” (we tried time outs, took toys away nothing worked). We started allowing the potty words as long as he said them only in the bathroom. He got into the habit of running to the bathroom and spilling out “shit, shit, shit, god damn it!!” After awhile it stopped. I think once it was not taboo it was not fun. (I was so relived because I was sure he would be expelled from his first day of kindergarten for cussing in the bathroom).

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    • Headacheslayer says

      Soap. The most organic out there (or hey you could take your chance with LifeBuoy–a la Christmas Story). I would make my daughter hold it in her mouth–not just for cussing but for being very rude in the way she talked. Used it a few times, and it worked.

      For those who think it’s abusive, WTF-ever.

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      • Amber says

        I’ve done the same when my kids used curse words. After the first time of doing it they didn’t curse again. In my experience the longer you “overlook” or “ignore” the issue the longer it takes to break it.

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        • Headacheslayer says

          Whew, thanks for replying to my comment. Even here I was worried about being honest. Too many people cry abuse when parents are taking a strict position on discipline.

          Now 16, my daughter uses curse words appropriately and NEVER in the prescence of relatives. But my son is a little less restrained so we’re more strict. I’ve threatened him with soap and that’s been enough ;)

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    • Kellom says

      My kids have not had a prob with cussing so I have not faced it, but I cussed once infront of my parents and once only. My mother tanned my hide! Now there is nothing wrong with time outs in gen and I would try that 1st, but if a kid knows they will be spanked they behave better. at least for the most part.

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  3. Jessica says

    Oh God, do I know this well. My 7 year old questions EVERYTHING and when I answer her I am wrong – ANNOYING! If you figure out how to change these annoying traits, please let me know.

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  4. Heather says

    My daughter has been using the word “Facebook” to replace the more obvious swear word and when I tell adults about this they think it’s cute and now I hear the word Facebook at work all day. Not a way to encourage a child at all but it’s getting annoying.

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  5. Jacki says

    My ten year-old son has been especially annoying lately. And he is doing it on purpose. He says he is preparing me for when he is a teenager. I think if this is what he is going to be like, I may just let his dad have custody in 3 years.

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  6. Angel_DWMW says

    I’ll take “annoying” if you take “rude.” My oldest has developed a habit of being rude and just plain mean — not just to his little brother (toward whom we would expect such behavior), but also to his teacher! Despite the consequences, he continues. So, please, Trade with Me. I’ll be happy to take annoying.

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  7. Isla Cunningham says

    You are hilarious and oh so right!! We should all try a little harder to raise likable children and stop offending with our DNA. This is a lesson in evolution and I love it! Good luck!

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