If I had known that I was going to be repeating myself as many times a day as I do I would have made an audio tape and just played it over and over and over again. “Speak to your sister don’t shove her”, “Please sit down in your chair”, “Please don’t climb on the table”, “May I pleeeaassse have another snack, more milk, what-have-you” . Everything I say in a day gets repeated over and over and over again and I think as I look at my 2 and 3 year old, really haven’t you got the hang of this yet?! Pretty laughable isn’t it? As if a 2 and a 3 year old could possibly have a solid grasp of social interaction. But even I am getting tired of listening to myself.
I am a stickler for manners because I feel like if I over train them now then eventually when they totally won’t listen to me anymore (which I’m sure isn’t far off) then if they slide to the middle of manner-land then it still won’t be that bad. The tough part is keeping it up when I’m tired and really don’t care anymore if my daughter is sitting on top of the kiddie table. The point when I really just don’t have one more “may I please have some more milk” in me.
What I’ve started to notice lately is the imitation factor of a 3 year old. He, like all kids his age, not only imitates actions and language but will imitate my tone – which can be quite unnerving. This has recently been a very valuable lesson to me in how he can be used as my new Repeater Tool. I don’t actually coach him on telling his little sister what to do, there is plenty of that going on already and I really do not want him thinking he is in any way the parent. But when I’m halfway distracted with making dinner I’ve heard him go over to her and in a voice that totally isn’t his regular voice but pitched as if he’s talking to a baby, say “Aly please get off the table and sit in your chair”. Its hilarious. This coming from a boy that I can’t get to say please the first time he asks for something unless its ice cream with sprinkles on it.
Teaching the art of communication is tough. Even just being a good communicator is tough, I still struggle with it. But if it means that my children will grow up to be kind, considerate people with better communication skills than I have, then I’ll repeat myself until I’m blue in the face.