Are You a Bad Influence?

“I tell you how many times already?”

Many parents say this in exasperation when their children or domestic help make the same mistakes repeatedly. This is a common non-Standard English phrase that has steadily crept into everyday language at home.

Imitating the Adults

Have you heard your child using your exasperated expressions? They will use the same words or phrases and even the way you say them. Adults often joke about how their kids learn and imitate. Don’t just laugh it off; remember that your kids may be picking up improper English from you.

Kids Don’t Know Better

You may be able to switch between using proper English at work and non-Standard English at home. But often kids do not see you at work and they only hear you speaking at home.

Be Conscious At All Times

So avoid using “I tell you how many times already?” from today.

Remind yourself to say either one of these:

  • “I have told you many times not to …..”
  • “How many times have I told you to …..”
  • “Please remember to XYXY. I don’t want to say this again / repeat this.”

Each time you correct yourself, you are setting a good example to your children.

Soon, they too will be conscious of lapsing into using the non-Standard English phrase.

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