By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | July 12, 2012
When I was a teenager my mother would walk through my bedroom and say, “Shoes.” You heard me correctly— one single word was all she might say, but then 45 minutes later she would come again swinging a switch or a belt and would not stop until I fully understood that I was supposed to put away my shoes from the back porch.
How was I to know? I never ignored her orders or put off doing a chore, ever. I had done as she asked by removing my shoes at the back door and didn’t make tracks going to my room. Never mind there were other people’s shoes there… my shoes were the problem.
Yes, my mom had a problem, it was called abusive behavior. BUT— she had the right idea; saying as few words as possible so children do not become parent deaf. Being parent deaf occurs when a parent or other caregiver explains, lectures, nags or talks too much for any reason. It becomes, “blah, blah, blah…”
Sometimes we do talk too much, there is so much we have to teach our kids; we have to tell them about being safe, we want them to understand why we have a rule, we repeat what they say to them to make sure we understand them or we ask too many questions.
When my girls were young I read about Native Americans and how they used so few words in their cultures. It made sense and I liked the idea so it fell in line with new parenting information that surfaced. Using few words has served me well in my parenting tool box. How about giving this tool a try; the only thing you have to lose is your voice.
Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.
New Jersey 24-Hour Family Helpline: 1-800-THE-KIDS
Parents Anonymous® of New Jersey, Inc.
Phone: (609) 585-7666
Fax: (609) 585-7686
Join the Online Support Group
Wednesdays 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST
Thursdays 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST
Facebook: Parent Rap – Soup To Nuts
Parents Anonymous® Inc.
Phone: (909) 621-6184
Fax: (909) 621-0614
National Parent Helpline
1-855-4A PARENT OR 1-855-427-2736
Hours: Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST