Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Sorry, it has been a while. 3 little boys = a busy mum! I was talking to my friend today on the way home from school. She has 2 girls and a boy. She says that she shouts her son's name so many more times each day than her daughter's names. What is it about boys and their ability to listen... or lack of it? Why do they find it so hard to listen when we give instructions?

An example. On our walk back from school we unfortunately go past a patch of grass. I say unfortunately because this particular patch of grass is used by the local dogs as a toilet. It is also very tempting for small boys. We are walking along, fairly peacefully, (apart from the fact that I am having 2 different conversations at the same time, which the boys seem to be oblivious to and blissfully unaware that I can't actually listen properly to them both at the same time) when suddenly Toby breaks free and starts running. 'Don't go on the grass Toby!', I shout, just as he runs onto the grass and straight into the dog's toilet. Did he hear me and choose not to obey me? Or did he really not hear me? I don't think I will ever know.

Another example (and then I'll stop, I promise). 'Max, get your shoes on'. A simple and easy to follow request - or so I thought. A 4 year old boy thinks differently. My request was not carried out, even after saying it 5 times and threatening to take away priviledges. It wasn't even that he said no, or argued with me, he just continued playing as if I wasn't there. So I whispered 'Max, do you want some ice cream?' His reply was immediate 'yes!' Aha!! You can hear me then!!

I think sometimes they are so engrossed in what they are doing that they really don't hear us. How many times have you spoken to a man who is watching the football and been totally ignored or given the obligatory 'I am listening really' grunt? Sometimes though, they can hear us but choose not to. We need to make sure we look them in the eye, and maybe get down onto their level and put a hand on their shoulder, every time we give an instruction or make a request. Realistically this can't always happen though. I am not going to chase after Toby, pushing a pushchair, to tell him not to go on the grass.

I do love boys. They are fun. But they are hard work and are most definitely a 'long term project'. Maybe one day when my boys are grown up I wll see some of the results of my hard work. We will have to wait and see on that one.

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