I feel the need to say something here. Just once.
In my current stage of life and parenting I feel as if I live in a canyon. Don’t panic. I am not in deep despair. I do not feel small and alone. In fact, quite the opposite. I’m rarely alone. Three little children are with me quite frequently. I do, however, feel as if I dwell in a canyon due to the fact that I am hearing echos.
Phrases are rarely uttered once in my home. Instead you will hear them once and then once again as they bounce off of our walls and reverberate from my mouth a second time. It can become quite disorienting. My words ricochet off my skull in a manner similar to a pinball moving through its course.
This echo is mostly my fault. It is due largely to the fact that my children have yet to master the art of multiple step directions. Honestly, I’m not sure I have mastered that art either, but my parents seem to be over it.
But here in my home, when I give multiple step directions, I end up giving them again. And again. And again.
When will I learn?
For example, when I say, “Go upstairs, get your jacket and your shoes and then come down and get in the car,” I fail. My children hear, “Go upstairs.” By the time they make it up the steps they have forgotten the rest of the directions. Honestly, sometimes so have I.
Thankfully, the need for repetition is rarely a discipline issue. My children are not being defiant. Though when they are, they are disciplined. I’ve never been a parent to count to three to get my child to move. I figure, if they can move on three, they can move on one… so why give them two more seconds. No, my children are not usually being stubborn. They simply are not completing tasks because they are not yet wired to receive and compute multiple directions at one time.
It is me who needs to practice bite-size orders. Give them what they can handle and help them obey with dignity and confidence. The pinball needs to come to a rest so that I remain sane enough to flick it again.
Ok. So in review. I need to first figure out the goal. Then I need to break the goal down into steps. Then I need to give my children theses steps one at a time. Enough with these multi-step goals. They only lead to hearing my own voice echo.
Ok. So in review. I need to first figure out the goal. Then I need to break the goal down into steps. Then…