This one's by Paula Spencer, author of the article, “9 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Child”.
After enduring an endless stream of interruptions, paint spills, random questions pertaining to the dietary requirements of squirrels, and incessant bickering between her two little girls, all the while trying to decipher some paperwork in one room, cook dinner in another, and nurse a ruptured disk in her back, Paula Spencer did the unthinkable.
“Nothing can excuse my behavior that afternoon,” Spencer wrotebefore announcing that as God is her witness, she’ll never be hungry again.
She shouted at her daughters, “Enough! Get out! Stop bothering me!”
Whoa, Paula. Get a hold of yourself.
Next thing you know you’ll be telling those kids to get their own raisins when they beseech you for a tasty, nutritious snack.
I won’t call child protective services if you won’t.
After reading Paula's description of that domestic scene (and mentally layering in some of those high-pitched little-girl shrieks that make me hate all women everywhere), I don’t condemn Paula; I salute her self-restraint.
But the research does not. According to the research, when you routinely tell your kids you’re busy and not to bother you, you “send the message that there’s no point in talking to you.”
Um, can anyone say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED? (Hence my instructions to leave me alone and stop bothering me?)
I'm only sort of kidding.
If I recall correctly, there was a day and age when children were expected to entertain themselves for long stretches of time. When self-directed play was a part of life and not a sign of parental neglect. A time when kids could decide for themselves whether clouds could be painted blue or flowers green, without an adult's enthused interventions.
How and why have we become the Julie Cruise Directors of our children's lives, pointing and guiding and answering and scheduling and instructing and apologizing for (GASP) ... making them wait?