I know all you parents out there can empathize with me when I say that my children suffer from a disorder whereupon they lose the capacity to hear a word I say. There’s something about the tone and cadence of my voice that their teeny little ear drums cannot process. It’s quite remarkable. Occasionally there is a remission in symptoms, when sometimes they can hear me, like when I say words like “ice cream” or “money” or “vacation.” But the medical condition is tragically most acute with words like “hurry up” or “let’s go” or “pick up your room.”
So imagine my surprise at the report of a recent medical miracle. La Chica is 7, and she was playing with her friend S, who is 5, and B, who is 9. The story goes down like this: S and La Chica built a fort. B started throwing balls at and over the fort. S got upset. La Chica asked S what was wrong. S said nothing, but was still upset. S said, “Let’s have a conversation.”
S & La Chica went to another room. La Chica asked S what was wrong. S didn’t want to talk about it, and said, “Only adults can solve problems.”
La Chica said, “No, Children can solve problems too. Your brother can. My brother can. I can. And you can. We can all solve problems. We need to use our words. What is the problem?”
S tells her that she’s afraid the balls will break the fort. The girls go back to the room that houses the fort, and where B is. La Chica walks up to B, and said, “S is upset, and is afraid the balls will break the fort. Can you please stop throwing the balls?”
B says, “Oh sure.”
Everyone is happy and they all stay up way too late. And there is a relapse in the medical condition when parents say, “It’s time to go! Let’s go!”
Moral of the story: We can all solve problems. Just use your words.
And Parents: Use those words to keep talking, even when you feel they’re falling on deaf ears. I almost had a cardiac event realizing that all this time, my kids actually hear, and internalize, the lessons I harp on. Who knew that they really can hear? Now I need to work on a cure for Can’t-Pick-After-Self-itis. That one is particularly contagious.