Parenting Fail – A Humbling and Substantial Spelling Lesson

The twins are with their mother this week in Florida for spring break.  My boys just turned 13 a few months ago so that meant they are now old enough to have Facebook accounts.  So Baby A decided to IM me via Facebook a few minutes ago.  This is what transpired…

Baby A:hey
Me:hi
Baby A:wut r u doin
Me:working…
Baby A:havin fun
Me:um…no
Baby A:dat sucks
Me:dat?
Baby A:yup
Me:no…you know how to spelll…
Baby A:yeah but it’s faster to type like that
Me:it alway make you look like you don’t know how to spell. don’t write like that
Baby A:ok
Me:and as i’m lecturing you on spelling i’m making all kinds of typos…how fitting

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So that was awesome. I’m sitting there telling him to write “that” instead of “dat” because he knows how to spell, all the while making typos. Way to go, Dad…

Then, the conversation continued. He started rambling on about how awesome he was and I asked him if he had anything substantial to say other than, “I’m awesome.” Then this ensued…

Baby A:i don’t even know what substantial means
Me:ugh…go to dictionary.com and type it in
Baby A:i don’t wanna
Me:and now you have to
Baby A:but why
Me:because i don’t want my son to be willfully ignorant. look up the word. you could have been done with it already if you’d have just done it
Baby A:ugh
hold on
Me:don’t ugh me. i’m not kidding around
Baby A:Important
>
/
?
sorry
Me:see? now was that so hard? and now you learned something
so the next time i say that word you won’t be scratching your head going, “duuuuuuuhhh”
Baby A:i didn’t scratch my head or say,” duuuuuuhhh”
Me:it’s the equivalent of saying, “i don’t know what that means”
Baby A:haha
whatever

baby facepalm

Does anyone else have trouble with their kids doing this? This is not the first time he’s tried to refuse looking up a word he doesn’t know. It’s like he’s happy being ignorant.

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About Twindaddy (328 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

115 Comments on Parenting Fail – A Humbling and Substantial Spelling Lesson

  1. I HATE that!

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  2. I think that’s called being a teen

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  3. My mom should be so glad texting wasn’t a thing yet during the height of my abbreviated typing phase.

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  4. That is a pet peeve of mine and I won’t let my 9 year old do it with her mom or me! I must know that she knows how to do it properly! I’m dreading the teen years.

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  5. No, it’s NOT that he’s happy being ignorant but he’s happy NOT listening to you. It’s much different. I’m sure I would have put hot spikes in my hand and insisted that it didn’t hurt if my mom said otherwise.

    I corrected my kid when he said that’s an ‘epic fail’ and I said “no – it’s not epic fail, it’s epic FAILURE” only to find out that I was wrong and he was using a trendy phrase.

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  6. Baby A has to be forced to look anything up. He’d rather remain ignorant than do a bit of work.

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  7. Oh good lord. I am the worst with typing correctly. I say UGH all the time it drives my husband nuts. My daughter can spell words I don’t even know and she is 8. I believe he just likes to get under your skin….he probably looked it up and didn’t care to tell you after the conversation. lol

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  8. My daughter is a terrible speller, which she inherited from me. Knowing this, I have always kept a giant dictionary in the living room, where it remains, mostly because it’s too heavy to carry. When she was still in middle school and would ask “how do you spell…” I would point to the dictionary. She no longer asks. At first, I gave myself a pat on the back. Then I realized she was just Googling the spelling with a phone app. When I found out, I said “I can’t believe you’re doing that!” She replied, “Dad, it’s no different than using that huge dictionary. Mine just happens to be in my phone.” To which responded in no uncertain terms, “…… good point.” (Schooled)

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  9. My beautiful daughter asked “Mum, how do you spell haff?”, Me- “what do youu mean haff?”, A- “like you haff to do that”, Me- “h a v e”, A- “no Mum, thats have. I want to spell haff. Are you stupid?”.

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  10. All of this stuff is making us all lazy and dumb. Because even if you DO look it up you don’t have to remember it — you can look it up next time you need it. It’s true for me as well — I have 12 tabs open in my browser so that I can remember 12 different health problems I can’t keep straight. In the pre-internet days I would have had to.

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  11. Huzzah! Fellow grammar and/or spelling Nazi here also! My son is 18 and looks like he would chop my head off with the dictionary rather than look up an unknown word in it. As far as he’s concerned, if I used a word, then I obviously know what it means and can save him precious time by simply enlightening him. I could take it as a compliment (he thinks there is no chance I could be wrong) but I’d rather continue ranting and raving when he rolls his eyes at my suggestion he look it up. Slight caveat–he does have some special needs, but we still enforce expectations around here.

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    • Well, I won’t always be around so I want them to be self sufficient enough to know where to find answers when they need to

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      • I agree completely–we try to help him understand that we may not be around forever. My concern is that we are becoming fossils and that the world is moving in a direction more like the one he seems bent on following. Ew. But in the meantime, we continue on, and I know you will also!

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  12. Ompa. This was such a cute and ridiculously awkward exchange, all the grace and blessings of facebook.
    I don’t know much about parenting, but when I was younger I was definitely that kid who not just refused, but was so well at acting dum- uhm, unknowing that my father would just act as my personal dictionary. Hell, I’d do it on days just to hear the sound of his voice. Yeah, maybe you should take it that way instead.

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  13. I’m not fine with willful ignorance but am increasingly sympathetic towards texting shorthand. Why? Because I’ve begun using a Blackberry for the first time in my life (I know!) and those keys are obnoxiously tiny! The less typing the better. I also find it funny that OK is acceptable but K is abhorrent; they’re both abbreviations! I think what we’re really upset about is that our children speak a different language than we do. Twas ever thus…

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  14. Gee, I wonder where she learned that word?

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  15. What is even dumber is when perfectly capable (?) adults do abbreviations in the work IM. Seriously? We save these for documentation, in case of subpoena. I can imagine some judge reading “wat u do dat 4?” and laughing us out of the courtroom. Embarrassing.

    The dictionary was and still is my good friend. I used to read the encyclopedia for fun. I was not a typical teen.

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  16. haha, “I don’t want my son to be willfully ignorant”. Great.

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  17. Sounds horrible.

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  18. I was never allowed to say “I don’t know”. There had to be reasoning behind answers/actions. I became great at making things up.

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  19. Don’t you remember? Kids always think they’re smarter than their parents.
    But it was only true for our generation.

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  20. Do you ever begin conversations with your kids with, “Sup, fucker?”

    By the way, you spelled stuff wrong, helmet head.

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  21. This is my biggest peeve…I hate it!. One time my daughter responded with smh, which I had no idea what that meant. The answer is “shake my head.” I was horrified that emotions were now being relayed this way.
    Ps. I despise “dat”

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  22. I had to point out to a friend of mine that she really shouldn’t spell “come” as “cum” on her FB updates (she was 13 I think at the time) because while yes, it’s shorter, it also has a rather different meaning! Fortunately she knew what I was referring to and changed it. But I’m dreading my eldest niece becoming a teen – she’s just turned 11 and already has an FB account, which I hope is heavily supervised by my sister.

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    • I’m keeping an eye on their accounts and told them that their mother and I will have their user names and passwords if they want to have it.

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      • Very sensible. Other things to make sure are that they know how to report abuse and to not put their whole lives on there, and also that they know to log out of their accounts so that other people can’t post as them. I have some friends who are in their late 20’s who still think that frape is amusing.

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        • Yeah, people are stupid.

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          • Indeed. An example from two of my ex-school-friends (who are probably still sleeping together despite supposedly being with other people and having not been together as a couple for getting on for a decade) of whom I only had the girl on my FB (but not anymore): she was regularly fraped by the lad who would post really quite foul comments about, for example, the odour of her intimate areas. Which for someone who’s just turned 33, is really very childish.

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          • Yeah, that’s something I’ve largely out grown.

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          • It’s something I’ve never seen the point of doing, to be honest. Well, maybe to someone I hated, but not to someone who’s supposed to be a friend!

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  23. kirstenhwhyte // April 9, 2013 at 10:36 am // Reply

    Can I join the grammar nazi’s? Although can we have a better name, I’m not comfotable with the connotations implied. I think it’s a generation thing – it’s better to be ignorant because then you can’t be responsible for anything. You should be glad that he can at least manage to spell dictionary. PS – did think about writing this message in text speak – “cn i jn grmmr nzs? Altho cn w hv bttr nm? grmmr nzs suc” Isn’t text speak the same as missing out all the vowels from words?

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  24. Ignorance is bliss!

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  25. The saddest this is when you get cover letters with internet slang.
    I’ve received a few, plain sad.

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  26. I give my hubby credit for constantly using our intercom system to ask how to spell words when he is trying to post something. I purchased a spell checker that he could connect to his computer that would search and try to establish what word he was trying to spell for him…he said that asking me is just easier than reading the manual on how to use it. Welcome to the wonderful world of Teens…they do turn 18 and hopefully begin to care…honest.

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  27. I have to go to urban dictionary more and more often now just to decipher text messages.

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  28. My kids area ll 4 and under so luckily I do not have this issues yet. My oldest is already on his way though. Our biggest issues is using what we call “Jibber” words (you know, Jibber jabber). Basically words that are not real. He has a huge vocabulary for his age but chooses not to use 90% of them.

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    • Well, that well take time, but the twins have been taking spelling and have been in school for quite a few years and it’s painful to watch them willfully misspell words that know how to spell. Well, painful isn’t necessarily the right word. Infuriating is.

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      • I know what you mean. I make mistakes but one that gets me in speech is “funner”. My wife says that one despite my dislike, I just correct her every so often. “No, not ‘funner’, the term is more fun.” It grates on her at time but I do not want the kids to pick up on stuff like that.

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  29. Twin D,

    Wad up wid ur kid?

    Guest comment from my kid.

    Like

  30. Kristi Campbell - findingninee // February 13, 2015 at 10:14 pm // Reply

    Freaking kids. Gotta gotta love them right?

    Like

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