Children should be seen and not heard

Whoever said this pearl of wisdom never had children.  We would never advocate silencing a child but how do you get them to shut the hell up? 

     We have three children.  Our daughter Jeannie will be 16 in a week.  She can talk endlessly about such fascinating topics as how much milk a cow produces and what name a certain singer is going by at the present time.  Our five year old, Bobby, will talk about any subject regardless of understanding.  Our favorite thing he does is tell us we’re lost and proceed to give us directions.  Our youngest, Ricky, prefers to communicate to song with wild renditions of “We will rock you” or “Hey Ho Let’s Go”. 

     On any given day this is no big deal.  We’ll usually laugh at the silliness of what they say or revel in learning more trivia about bovines.  However, when the day is tougher and the nerves are shot, patience for chittering goes out the window.  Of course there are also those biological induced fog days where it becomes impossible to not react to anything incessant.   

     So what do you do?  One idea is to give yourself a time out.  No, we don’t mean punish yourself but the concept of timeout was created to be used for kids who needed a minute or two to regroup; think their actions through.  So time out to a corner of your place and take a few deep breaths.  The act of breathing deeply also relaxes you by increasing the intake of oxygen, releasing endorphins and tends to relax the muscles of the upper torso.  

     If that doesn’t work, remember that you are bigger than them and you control time and space.  Decide its bedtime, find something frivolous to watch on T.V., grab a drink and relax with your partner.  You may have an alcoholic beverage but do not overdo if you really had a shitty day since that will only compound it.  We would suggest any programming that allows you to feel superior to the characters.  That’s a built in day booster right there. 




  • Osmara

    I liked your comment about having the parents take a time out, especially the part about breathing. I must have good lung because I do a lot of it, especially when I am stressed or rushing.
    P.S.I love your articles and the website too!

  • Osmara

    What are your thoughts about early education.We have a 3 1/2 year old son who loves music, dancing, singing and tries playing the guitar, but he’s not into academics (learning letter recognition, etc). Part of me know he will have many many academic years ahead so don’t push him now too much but the other part of me want’s him to do well and know his stuff. What do you suggest as parents?

  • ree

    I am going to be a new mommy but I have a step-son who is 8 and has been in my life since he was one so I know what excessive chatter is like. my husband and I laugh because he had a tracheal intubation as a baby so he did not speak until well after two years of age. I remember he started learning sign language because they weren’t sure if he would ever be able to speak. They finally removed the tube and he would make these noises equivalent to a duck. My husband would say, “I can’t wait until he can talk”. He would spend so much time pushing him to utter a word when he wanted something. These days its, “Does he ever be quiet”? It doesn’t help that he exhibits signs of ADHD. I believe in hearing the long stories about nothing because there is always something new you learn. I also know what its like when you’re just not in the mood. At times, I pretend to listen, which is not the best. Lately I have suggested that he listen to music, which he loves or he’ll go watch television while I clear my head and mussle up some patience.

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