Friday, May 11, 2012

Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama !!!!!!!!!

If you have ever raised a toddler you've enjoyed the cacophony of your name, most likely high pitched and whiny, called without respite at the most inconvenient time.  Mama, mama, mommy, moooooo----oooooommmm! I've barely processed the fact my kid needs me from hearing my name the first time when my name is called a dozen more times. Aggravating?  Oh yes.  So after a particularly arduous road trip with two boys armed with my name and a million requests I decided it was time to introduce "wait time" to my kids.

Sitting in the driver's seat (literally only, though my greatest dream is to say that metaphorically) of my little Corolla I explained to the boys a very "grown up" idea.  They had to count to ten between saying my name the first time and repeating any version of my name.  We practiced trying it by counting out loud.  Then they used their fingers, then they needed to count in their heads.  It worked pretty well for the rest of the trip and  I smugly congratulated myself for a moment of parenting GENIUS.

Then I went to school.  I have some kids, let's call them all Tammy for convenience.  These Tammys were slow to respond to directives, either due to auditory processing delays or attitude complications.  I caught myself saying, within one breathe, "Tammy, come see me...I need you to come to my's time to come see me....we need to conference...Tammy I told you to come see me NOW!"  It dawned on me I was doing exactly what drove me crazy in the car.  

In an effort to be efficient with time and to make sure my questions are phrased so all kids will understand, I tend to talk.  A LOT.  Without stop.  My poor students.  My poor sons.  It's time to practice what I preach.  I ask a question.  I count to ten in my head.  Then I look for answers, this gives the thoughtful quiet kids a fighting chance again the chair hopping arm wavers.  I give a student a directive.  I count to ten.  If the student doesn't respond I reduce my words and rephrase the request. Once.  

What's the moral?  The less I talk, the more kids learn.  Enough said.


  1. Yesterday I had made it to twelve after asking a kiddo a question. I was just about to offer a prompt when he came out with an answer that blew my socks off. Wait time is "worth the wait."

  2. You must listen to this song:

    And does this mean I shouldn't say "brush your teeth" eight thousand times every morning?