Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sometimes our inattentive kids can be a bit impulsive as well. When that happens, you may ask them a question or tell them to do something and get an immediate answer. They learn to answer right away because we train them to respond when spoken to, and we don't tend to respond well when we feel they are ignoring us. So our kids get used to us telling them things to do or asking them questions, and they sometimes respond automatically without thinking about what was said. Once I was administering a test to a boy and I explained the instructions for a subtest and asked if he understood what he was supposed to do. He immediately replied, "Okay" followed by a brief pause and "What?" because he hadn't really been tuned in to what I was saying. This happens a lot at my house. I say something and get the reply of, "Okay! Wait! What did you say?" Usually the repetition helps, but I'm not always patient about having to repeat myself. For those of you with a distractible spouse or if you are easily side tracked yourself, you know this "Okay! What?" type of answer is not limited to children, either. If you give in to your ornery tendencies, you can claim that your child or spouse agreed to doing something they don't even recall responding to and would never have conceded to doing if they had been paying close attention. I don't recommend that, no matter how tempting it may be. Taking advantage of that weakness will not help you become the person you are intended to be. Instead, continue to work on strategies that promote "Think before you speak"... and pray for patience.