Monday, October 10, 2011

Communication Skills

I hear many people complain that their children don't talk to them. This is not a problem in our household. I have stumbled upon several sure-fire scenarios that will spark dialogue between my children and myself. These methods may not be conventional but nonetheless, I am pleased to be able to share my secrets.

First and foremost, a parent must seek privacy. Children have a sixth sense and this will trigger the speech area in their brain. Seriously, this is scientific, and I can prove it. Below is a list of the rooms in your house that will best serve your purposes for communicating with your child, or children, or even the whole neighborhood if the experiment goes well.

The Bedroom: You can actually just lie down on your bed and wait for the kiddos to come rolling in with questions. Let out a sigh of contentment if they don't come immediately. Also, changing clothes can trigger the speech response. Just stand in your underclothes and before long someone will come barging in, maybe even with a friend, to ask you where the band-aids are, or if they can use your nice china for a picnic in the backyard.

The Laundry Room Now, I'm not suggesting that you enter the laundry room to do laundry. Pshh. The laundry room is where I go to seek adult conversation on the telephone. Children have excellent hearing despite what they would have adults believe and can hear the tones of the telephone buttons. They will then seek you out. First you will hear a knock, or maybe just feel the tug of your sleeve. They may try and use primitive sign language to convey their messages, but eventually words will come. And probably won't stop until you must bid adieu to your friend.

The laundry room is also where I go to participate in the ritual eating of chocolate. Some call this ritual "Getting Through the Day". The children can hear the wrapper as it crinkles and smell the chocolate before it even hits your lips. You must be prepared in this circumstance not for conversation but for a confrontation. There will be questions of fairness and you may even be tied down for questioning. Don't give in. Hold your ground; tell the child/children that there is chocolate hidden outside in the bushes just for them and then lock the doors when they go out with a shovel. Only then are you safe to eat the rest of your stash.

The Bathroom This room, for obvious reasons, is to be used only as a last resort. This is only for the most drastic of situations. It truly never fails that as soon as I think that my business can be conducted in private a child is knocking on the door. "Where is the brush?" or "Have you seen my shoes." My heart does a little pitter patter when one of them asks through the crack in the door, "Can I talk to you?" My children seem to think that when I am visiting the powder room that I must also want to talk to other adults. No one but me EVER answers the telephone, but by-goodness if I am in the bathroom they will not only answer the darn thing but bring it to me. I once had a UPS man brought to my bathroom door so that I could sign for a package. For the neighbor.

The shower is another place children will seek you out. I think it is because they feel safe. You are captive. There is no where for you to go. You must communicate and/or do their will. I have been asked to open nacho cheese sauce jars, peel apples, and braid hair while trying to scrub down. Once a child even brought in a tray with all of the ingredients needed to make a peanut butter a jelly sandwich. It was soggy, but apparently edible.

I hope that these tips are helpful in encouraging much verbal interchange in your home.


  1. The shower, oh yeah. And locking the door usually leads to needing to repair the door handle.

    Great! Now you need one on how to get rid of them. Make a work list, start cleaning the kitchen, etc.

    Reading this, I always think of some anonymous person that said, "Grand children are a parents' revenge against their children!" Have fun!

  2. Dad - so true! I have had to repair two doorknobs in my lifetime as a mother.

    You never needed a room for privacy. You had the newspaper wall. ;)

  3. AHHHHHHH!!!!! I love you! You crack me up.

  4. Sarah - so glad that you got a laugh! :) Thanks for reading!

  5. I should never read your blog with a full bladder. I am totally lizzing.