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  • Gareth Ellis

Falling on Deaf Ears

How many times do you find yourself saying the same things over and over to your children? Or anyone for that matter? Annoying, right?

Even when I’m trying to ignore someone, I find it really hard not to hear them, so my only conclusion is that both of my children ignore me on a regular basis.

But only for the times I want them to do something. If I’m saying ‘Rupert, Emilia, time to come in and have a bath.’ Nothing. If I tell them to not jump on Mummy and Daddy’s bed, deaf. But if I so much as whisper the words ‘biscuits’, ‘chocolate’, or ‘snack’ then it’s like they’ve acquired super sonar hearing! I mean, honestly, plus they then remember that for the next hour or so, wondering where the snack is that I’d apparently promised them.

And it’s not like a lot of the things I say to them isn’t for their own good, I’m trying to keep them safe, or trying to get them in the car to go and do something fun. Instead, they’d rather run laps with each other outside the front of the house or stay at the park for a minute longer.

The worst one for me though is when they’re playing and then it turns a little rough. Anyone with siblings or friends from school will know what I mean. Those occasions when you’re playing and then something happens and the playfight turns a little bit sour as someone ends up crying. When I was a kid, I was always told ‘it’ll all end in tears.’ With a two and three-year-old you have to try and address the problem before the tears arrive.

Today, I asked them to take their outside toys out of the kitchen and back outside, a reasonable request I would say. I counted that I asked them 13 times to do so and got nothing. No, actually, that’s a lie, after the fifth time I got up to help them move the offending items, they thought I was playing, and both giggled at me. You have to laugh I suppose.

I’m all for giving both of the children the space to play, explore and even make minor mistakes (it’s how we learn, right?) and despite the fact that they are very good children in general, I often struggle to find a consistent way to make them listen to me. I don’t want to be a shouty parent, I thought I was too cool to be a naggy parent, so that leaves me with hilarious, repeating himself parent, I guess.

I think the thing I need to remember is that they’re two and three, they’re not grown-ups, they’re children and they want to have as much fun as they can – which I am 100 per cent here for. Maybe I need to just learn to let it go a little bit more.

That or invest in a megaphone.

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