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A television show airing in the 1950s became a household favorite, “Father Knows Best.” Jim Anderson, played by Robert Young, had his share of family problems. His character’s wife was Margaret and their kids were Betty, Bud, and Kathy.
Jim had a pet name, “Kitten,” for Kathy, his youngest. A lot of dads have pet names for their kids, and they have quite a few instructional pet phrases. Much of our wisdom and understanding of the world comes from our dads, and a Bible proverb says, “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding” (Proverbs 3:13). See if you recognize any of the fatherly wisdom and idioms, I’ve collected from family and friends:
Don’t make me come in there.
How many times do I have to tell you—clean your room?
You eat me out of house and home.
Don’t cross your eyes. They’ll stick like that.
Keep on crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.
Don’t sit so close to the TV.
Finish your dinner, there are starving kids in the world.
If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times.
Sit up straight.
Use your inside voice.
Money doesn’t grow on trees.
If I have to tell you one more time . . .
No, we’re not there yet. Don’t ask again.
You’ll shoot your eye out.
Obey your mother.
Don’t talk back to your mother.
Apologize to your mother.
I can’t leave you alone for a minute.
This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
Wash your ears out.
What part of “No” don’t you understand?
Didn’t I tell you that’d happen?
You’ll spoil your appetite.
Don’t roll your eyes at me.
This is the last time I’m going to tell you.
Once you get in your house, you can do what you want.
Stop touching your brother.
Let’s play the quiet game.
What in the Sam Hill are you doing?
Write that down in your little black book.
Cut that out.
Wipe that look off your face.
Use your manners.
Because I said so.
If your dad is still around, be sure to thank him for all the memorable advice delivered in simple slogans and add a plate of homemade cookies and a big kiss on the cheek.