Well, I Did Ask
By Julie Davidson
Recently, I gave my youngest son a time-out for using a word that I felt was not child appropriate.
While he was in his room thinking about what he had done, I could hear him muttering to himself. He wasn’t convinced he had done anything wrong. So I decided I would explain my point of view to him.
“Time-out is over; you can come out, but I need to talk with you,” I said, standing outside his bedroom door.
He opened the door, and I looked down to see him looking up at me with a huge scowl. Ouch!
I crouched down to be eye-to-eye with him. “I just want you to make good choices—even with your words. Sometimes there might be words that aren’t good for kids to use. Do you understand what I’m telling you?”
All I got was a stare. And that scowl.
So I asked again. “Listen. I need to make sure you get what I’m telling you. Do you understand what Mommy’s saying?”
Same thing. Okay, now I’m getting a bit frustrated. Lovely. First I had an issue with his choice of words. Now it’s the refusal to use any.
I knew he was just upset about being sent to his room, so I thought I would give him one more try, this time trying to calm myself down as I asked, “Do you understand what I am saying?”
The stare was still there.
Okay, kid. Game’s over. “When I ask a question, I need you to answer me. Do you get what I am telling you? Say yes or no.”
Still staring and scowling, he quietly responded, “Yes or no.”
It’s best to know when to walk away.