Have you ever wondered why your kids don’t listen to you? You ask nicely, you command, you demand, you beg, you cry…. But, they don’t always jump up with a Yes, Mom!
After long ponderings on this point, I decided to casually ask my kids about this the other day. I started with George.
Me: George, why is it that you don’t listen to me sometimes?
George: Sometimes I can’t hear you.
Me: Okay, how about when you can hear me, why do you not listen every time, right away or at all?
*long, quiet, contemplative silence*
George: Well, sometimes, I just don’t want to.
A little while later, Phillip came by. I debated whether I should ask him at all. He is two, what can he possibly tell me his excuses are?
Me: Hey, Phillip, how come you don’t always listen to Mommy?
Phillip: I’m. Busy!
Well, he either means he’s too busy for me now, or too busy when I need him. I will have to figure that one out, but will thoroughly enjoy my chuckle about his response in the meantime!
Later that evening, Felicity came romping by. Yes, my children romp. Faith wasn’t too far behind, so I needed to get her attention to ask her without Faith getting up in this business and getting prepared for an answer. Or, answer for Felicity!
Me: Felicity, why don’t you listen to me when I ask you to do something?
Felicity: Sometimes, I can’t hear you.
Me: I understand there is a problem of my not being loud enough, but how about when you can hear me? Why don’t you always jump up and say Yes, Mom! like you are supposed to?
*very long, contemplative silence…so long I thought she forgot what I’d asked her*
Felicity: I know, I am still thinking. Okay. Sometimes, I just wish I was someone else!
By this point, Faith realized Felicity was in deep thought, so came over to snoop. Since she was the last, I didn’t worry too much about asking her my survey question in front of the other kids. All she heard was Felicity’s answer, so didn’t know what was coming anyway.
Me: How about you, Faith? Why don’t you always listen right away, when you hear me, to what I ask you to do?
Faith: Well, after you ask me something, I get distracted because then Felicity starts to talk to me. Then you say “Faith!” and I remember, but then Felicity starts talking to me again. And she talks so much that I forget all about how I am supposed to listen to you right away.
So, my inquisitive self was satisfied! My survey concluded with: My kids just don’t want to, are too busy, wishing they were someone else, and/or being distracted by chatty sisters when they aren’t listening to me; when they can hear me.
I encourage all my mom friends, who have ever wondered this very thing, to survey their kids! You never know what they will come up with, and their honesty is so comical, you can’t go wrong!