Are you ready to pull your hair out? Are you sick of telling your kids to do the same thing over and over and OVER? Please stop hitting your brother, STOP hitting your brother, STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER! Maybe the answer isn't in how or what we are saying.. or how loud we are saying it. It is possible that if we listened more we wouldn't need to talk so much. Let me share with you an activity that I accidentally stumbled on during a recent bedtime routine.
It was approximately 6:30 p.m... bath-time.. which is always noisy at my house since we have two little girls ages 7 year and 3 year. As usual the three of us were talking a mile a minute, discussing their gardens, T-ball, and a million other things. As a joke my husband made the comment that he didn't think I could survive an hour without talking. I of course love a challenge, so without any discussion/explanation. I instantly stopped talking.right in the middle of giving the girls a bath. As you can imagine it was quite difficult to wash/rinse hairget them out of the tub.get them dressed all without saying a single word.
My oldest didn't know what I was doing, but she could tell something was up! I found myself wanting to yell at her. "just lay back just get dressed" but I was determined to "win" this game. In my silence I questioned myself. why is it that I can only complete these tasks by "telling" her what to do? Why can't I "show" her? Isn't one of life's greatest lessons that "actions speak louder than words?" In that moment I realized I could use this silence game to really connect with my kids in a way that I never had before. I had no idea if I could make it work, but I knew I didn't want the opportunity to pass us by.
With smiles, pointing, and some creative hand gestures I was able to braid my daughter's hair, get her to brush her teeth, turn off the TV, and get into bed all without a fight! I was amazed! However, so much more happened that night. I was able to tell my little girl I loved her without saying a single word. To my surprise she squealed with excitement as she tried to understand my "codes," I had completely stopped talking to her, yet I had made her feel like the most important person in the world.
What started out as a silly challenge between a husband and wife turned into something so much more important. It made me question some of my parenting techniques. Yes my girls have a very full and happy life but could I give them more?
I believe that if we stopped talking so much and tried to listen more we may find that the answers we need are much simpler than we expect. If it seems like your kids have tuned you out I challenge you to just stop talking! You may be amazed at the results! For the record, my husband won the challenge. I was only silent for 47 minutes!