J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

If You Want Something More …

My daughter just started her last year of preschool. One thing the teachers say to the kids is “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” (A variation at another preschool is “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.”)

Well, that’s a decent life lesson. Some things you can’t control, and you just have to accept what happens. Like, your friend got a bigger portion of raisins, and your teacher isn’t going to fix it. Life is like that sometimes.

But on its own, the saying conveys too much passivity. It needs a more proactive corollary. So, at home, we’ve started saying the following to our daughter, whenever she complains about something that is well within her own power to change:

“If you want something more get your butt off the floor.”

I heard somewhere that your child’s inner monologue is based on the way you talk to them. Maybe the parent that came up with that was thinking of Lev Vygotsky big idea, which I talk about in this post. Speech with caregivers turns into “self-talk” which turns into silent self-talk, aka thought. Makes a lot of sense.

What Vygotsky didn’t mention was that the way you speak to your children also transforms your own mind. Your lessons to them become your own maxims (if they aren’t already).

“If you want something more get your butt off the floor.” Has saying that to my daughter hundreds of times made me more proactive? You bet.


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  1. Is this post about how your parenting helps your child or about how your parenting helps you?

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