Communication is the Key to…Stop Giving Me Advice…I Wasn’t Giving You Advice…Oh. It Sounded Like You Were Giving Me Advice.

Do you ever feel like you’re talking to yourself? Not in the good way, where you share a private joke with yourself that all the other jerks aren’t classy, funny, or pretty enough to understand. I mean, in the way that you have repeated yourself over and over again and no one in your family seems to hear you? Makes you feel invisible?

Yes, well. Me, either.

We’ve been talking a lot about communication lately in our house. Teaching the kids (again! still!) that they need to acknowledge us when we word in their direction with an Ok/Got it/Will do/Ahoy, Matey, whatever. Something to let me know I’m not actually living in a solitary white room in my head yet. It’s a matter of respect, obviously, and courtesy, and sometimes safety.

There are times, also, that they’re hearing me but just not receiving my message as I sent it. I ask them a question and they don’t answer it at all how I would expect them to. As if I asked one thing and they heard a whole other thing.

It’s incredibly maddening, but it may also be what’s actually happening. It’s possible we don’t speak the same language and I’m not properly translating my questions to their language. If I’m patient and I go down to them and clarify what I said, or they explain what they understood me to say, we can usually find common ground and move forward.

This parenting insight brought to you by a fight the adults in the house had recently where we (again! still!) discovered that WE don’t always speak the same language. Sometimes we really, truly aren’t trying to slowly kill each other, we just communicate differently and so are kind of sliding right past each other with our intent/meaning. It’s miscommunication but it feels like fighting. Or it starts as miscommunication but it doesn’t get named as such, so it ends as fighting. So if WE grown people who have been trying to talk to each other for some 20 years still can’t get it straight, how can we expect these short newbies to always be getting it?

Another lesson in grace and patience, I guess. In case you’re unfamiliar, the definition of “grace” is admitting you are stubborn and dumb and the definition of “patience” is waiting for that to stop.

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