If you have to ask, the answer is probably NO.
|I not list-en-ing to yooooou!|
Mothers everywhere experience this communication rift at some time or another. Some mom's-- like me-- feel like there is more rift and less communication on most days, and yet we keep on trying. I suppose we are genetical predisposed to optimism, always certain that one day our dogged perseverance will pay off and we will be rewarded with a response. I am coming to the conclusion, however, that my optimism is more likely a delusion. I have been at this mommy thing for nearly eight years and I am still asking the question "did you HEAR me? What did I SAY?" Like I am ever going to get a response I want to hear!
|Puh-leeze-- talk to the phone.|
My background noise theory is further proven by the fact that others in my life have developed the same inability to hear me. My husband, by dog, some of my students-- all require me to replay the broken record to get questions answered from time to time. With the exception of my dog, all have responded to my exasperated restating of questions with "oh, I didn't hear you the first time" or "you were talking to me?" For a fleeting moment, I thought maybe I just wasn't loud enough or assertive enough to be heard. But for those of you that know me, you realize how ludicrous this is. (Me-- not loud enough? Yeah right!) It is more likely that I just communicate too often, further training those around me to tune out the frequency of my voice. (In other words, I may as well shut up-- I am teaching them to ignore me.)
The ultimate proof that my kids have learned to tune out the frequency of my voice is that if I change my voice the least little bit, suddenly I am on the radar again! My normal speaking voice goes unnoticed. My shrieking, whispering, singing and cartoon voices, however, get tuned right in. Changing the frequency changes their response. This could prove useful.
|"and then I said, like..."|
For the first half of my plan, I am trying to make my Princess and Birdie understand that part of being respectful is letting others know that you are listening and understand what they are saying. This is difficult for my ladies, especially since they aren't the most empathetic people on the planet. It's hard for them to see the value in letting others know they are paying attention-- they can't always put themselves in someone else's shoes. To work around this little social "disconnect", I am trying the Pavlovian method of teaching respect-- so far with limited success. I am hoping that by the end of second grade, when I say Princess or Birdie's name, she will respond with "Yes, ma'am" reflexively. If they will do that one tiny little thing, half my listening problems will be solved. At least then I will know that for one instant, I was being heard.
The second half of my plan has to do with the discovery I mentioned earlier. I will try to use different modulations of my normal voice (other than shrieking, which has been my recent go-to tone of voice) to get my darlings' attention-- in other words, I will act like an idiot. I hope that
Here's hoping my little plan works without making me look completely ridiculous. Oh, what am I saying?! I'll take looking ridiculous if it works!
What do you do in order to be heard?