If you’re a parent, you know that your kids can wear you down. It’s up to you to teach them everything from walking to wiping to washing their hands, and each child is different and constantly changing. Figuring out how to build them up is like trying to assemble a giant 3-D puzzle made of jello.
Take my 3 year old (Maybe tomorrow? For a couple hours or so?). He’s doing great with his language skills, but that’s proved to be a double-edged sword, as he can wear us down with talking. If anyone were keeping track, he would surely hold some kind of Guinness world record for consecutive syllables without stopping. Sure, he’s a cutie, and he’ll stun you with his smiley bright mouth full of happy. But when his lips start to motor, and he gets on a talking tear, watch out. My brain just starts to shut down.
I’m telling you all this because we’ve recently advanced from our embattled position in this war against incessant chatter. A few weeks ago, already at my wits end by 9 am, I told my son, Ben, it was time for a “talking break.” I explained this new thing and told him, that when the long hand gets to the 2 (in 5 minutes), we would talk again.
To my amazement, with only a little struggle, it worked. I was committed, and he believed it. After 5 minutes, Ben and I both celebrated. Ben was glad to talk again, and I felt like Batman, suddenly discovering a new gadget on my bat belt.
Now we’re up to two or three talking breaks a day, and he knows the drill. We try not to overuse it, though we have added a new wrinkle. Lately, I’ll say,”Daddy is taking a talking break.” And that is almost as effective, because most of the talking usually comes in the form of a question.
I’ll take Talking Break for $500, Alex.