If you live with kids you’re used to lots and lots and LOTS of questions. “Why, Mommy, WHY?” If you’re like me, you feel like you spend most of your time answer questions OR saying, “I think you already know the answer to THAT, don’t you?!” It’s no wonder, then, that as parents, that we sometimes get caught in the “Question Trap”.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about. I’ll give you a few examples:
“How about we have some supper?”
“Can you go and find your blankie?”
“Should we go and brush your teeth?”
“Let’s go to the car, okay?”
If you’re like me, those questions really AREN’T questions….they are things you are expecting your child to do NOW. But we’ve asked a question…and our children don’t always answer the way we’d like them to. Shortly, we get frustrated, our children get frustrated, things escalate and pretty soon we’re dishing out time outs, raising our voices, and wishing Grandma would call to take them off our hands. Crazily enough…IT’S OUR FAULT!!!
I caught myself doing it just the other day. I was in a hurry and trying to be patient with getting out the door. I said to Leve, “Would you please go and put your swim suit on so we can go?”
“No. I’m playing.”
“Leve! Do it now.”
I was already on the edge. We were late. I was irritated. AND I MADE IT WORSE by asking her a question! She’s 4…the world is pretty literal for her...of course she’d rather finish playing!
Today, I had a chance at a re-do. We were on our way out the door for a 2.5 hour car ride. “Leve. Please go to the bathroom now so you don’t have an accident in the car.”
“Okay, Mommy. “ She dropped what she was doing and took care of business.
Sure, there are certainly times when kids won’t be compliant; that’s a whole ‘nother parenting issue. AND as they grow older they come to understand that those 'questions' aren't questions, but until our children are there developmentally we need to remember...IT'S NOT A QUESTION!!!
Happy Saturday, Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend.