Be direct. Don’t beat around the bush.


In case you hadn’t noticed, most of the tips you read here are multipurpose (or ‘interdisciplinary’ as we say in teaching).  If you expand your view, they apply to pretty much all relationships, not just the one with your kids. The same applies to today’s tip to stop beating around the bush.

(By the way, here is the origin of the expression.  Beating around the bush means not going straight to the point. It comes from an old hunting term. Beaters were people who went ahead of hunters to flush out the quarry. To those beaters who tried to have an easy day and avoid heavy undergrowth the hunters would call out “don’t beat around the bush, go through it.”  Basically it means that one is being evasive and not coming to the point, or avoiding the main topic.)

Do  you say what you really mean, or do you tiptoe around it? Take it down to everyday conversations or requests.  When you need something, ask for it. (Politely, of course, and straight out.)

Change this –    “Will you be near the bank today?”
To this –            “Can you make a deposit for me?”

Change this –    “Look at that pile of clothes on your floor.”
To this –            “Time to do some laundry.”


No one is a mind-reader, and nobody wants to guess and be wrong. Say what you mean, and you’ll avoid the misunderstandings, impatience, and frustration of beating around the bush.

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You know so many people who need to hear this message, so let’s work together to spread it to as many people as possible (think family, friends, co-workers, PTO/HSA).  Please also let me know your thoughts about today’s tip. Tell me if you found it helpful.  You can leave your comments below.

Be well, be strong, be courageous parents!

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  1. Thanks Fern! Great reminder about being more direct with my speech! I love reading your tips!

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