With four kids…all of them old enough to talk…and all of them with VERY important things to say…things that MUST be said RIGHT now…
Sometimes I can feel overwhelmed with everyone talking at once and never really feeling like I can hear any of them.
It sorta sounds something like:
And of course, trying to have a conversation with my husband…one that I can actually finish…kinda looks something like thi……
(I may never really know how his work day really went…)
So while we’re working with the kids (constantly) to not interrupt…and to recognize that when others are speaking, they need to wait their turn…
And helping them to understand that their need to tell me about what happened to LarryBoy on the most recently watched Veggie Tale show is maybe not as urgent as they might think that it is…
I one day came up with a little tool that worked for me.
As two of my boys walked into the room and both started talking at once…I just reached out my pointer finger at one of them, pushed gently on his nose and said, “Pause.” (as if I was pushing his pause button…)
And he did…pause.
The first boy finished what he was saying.
And then I turned back to the other one and pushed his nose again, and said, “Unpause.” He grinned…and finished what he had started to say earlier.
From then on, I have been pushing their little pause button noses left and right. (so to speak…)
It’s a lot easier than saying, “Please wait until your brother is finished talking, and then you can have your turn to speak…”
Oh, and the kids love it!
Now, I am so used to pausing noses…that one day while talking to my friend in the church foyer…one of my kids came up and really needed to say something important…so I reached up without thinking and pushed my friend’s nose and said, “Pause.”
She started laughing…and said, “Um, did you just pause my nose?”
And I realized that indeed…I had just pushed on my friend’s nose and told her to pause.
(Thankfully she loved the idea and started using it with her own kids. I’m pretty sure she has since then paused my nose on occasion…)
While I am now more careful about who’s noses I’m pausing in church foyers…this plan works VERY well for my kids…and I highly recommend it!