Sunday, June 28, 2009

Smacksy Sunday Link: Listen Up

Bob Rosenberg
Bob: One Ear, Self Portrait, 2009
chalk on concrete

There have been moments where my kid is so tuning me out that I have worried that he had some type of medical hearing issue. I then do my own version of a hearing test by inserting the word "zoo", or "cake", or "chocolate" into a sentence. I am then greeted by an immediate response from my previously un-hearing child: “We are going now?” “You have some now?” “We are eating some now?” I am again assured that yes he heard me and yes he was choosing not to respond and yes I feel like ever so gently beating my head against the wall. Again.

I have returned over and over to the article, 25 Ways to Talk So Your Children Will Listen. It’s a great read on the Dr. Sears website with lots of ideas (um… 25 of them) for approaching the small and not so small who are hearing us but choosing not to listen. I have read and re-read this thing trying to burn all of these communication skills into my exhausted-from-all-of-the-nagging brain. (The link will take you to a splash page that gives you the option of signing up for the email newsletter. If you don't wanna sign up and just want to read the article, you can click through by clicking on the red "Ask Dr. Sears" link on the page.)

So yeah, the ears aren’t the problem. Like Paul Newman says in Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” You know, and then they shoot him.


  1. We have tried most of the 25 techniques over the years and it's been hit or miss. After years of trying to communicate with them while their listening switches are turned off, we have reached the conclusion that our kids must experience our voices similar to the way that adults talked in the old Charlie Brown cartoons... "Whuaa wua wua wuaa wua wua wua wua..." More so now with our 6 year old but our 10 year old still has her off switch and uses it from time to time.