Thursday, June 24, 2010

the silent treatment

We've had a rough week around here kid-wise.
Well, we're playing a new game today.
Basically it's called My Kids Choose Not to Listen to Me? Well Then I'm Not Listening to Them.

The silent treatment was on.
Ignoring requests, doing the opposite of what they wanted me to do... pretty much pretended I was them. Seriously.
Except that I kind of took it just a leeeettle bit further and kind of sort of pretty much pretended they weren't even here. Nope, can't hear you!

Here's how it went...
At first they were kind of speechless, taken aback and not sure how to respond to no response from mom. I started it after they'd both been sent to their rooms (for antics at the snack table that resulted in raisins flying all the way into the family room) and I ignored their calls from upstairs "can we come down now???" I made no acknowledgment and eventually they cautiously made their way down testing the waters. Repeating themselves again, timidly, apologetically. They really didn't know what to think about me flat out ignoring them. I did finally say quietly that I had decided since they didn't want to listen to me today, I was returning the favor and was done listening to them. They tried to talk, ask me questions, but I was back to no eye contact and shrugging them off. Like I said, they were pretty much speechless and not sure how to respond to this.
Then they moved into 'whatever' mode where they kind of took on the attitude of, well if mom's not doing anything about it, we'll be the boss of ourselves. They got super crazy, doing things just to egg each other on and try and get my goat. Uh-uh. Not gonna break.
Amusingly, that got old pretty quick and they were back to not being quite sure what to do with themselves. And kind of sullen... like their feelings were kind of hurt that I wasn't really interacting with them AT ALL. That they weren't getting any attention from me. That I wasn't helping them with things or getting them things or really basically acknowledging them whatsoever. (I think they even got a little panicky that maybe I was never going to talk to them again!)

And, for SJ at least, I could tell it dawned on her that maybe, just maybe this might be kind of how mom feels when she says something to me thirty seven times and I still don't follow through or obey or I "forget" or just plain ignore.

This lasted all of about an hour. It seemed A LOT longer, but it was about an hour.
And then we talked about it.

And we'll see if it did any good....


Misti said...

Good for you! I'll have to keep that in mind for the future. ;D

the Zimels said...

I love it! I love throwing my kids off with unexpected reactions like this! That, "Oh no, Mom's gone nuts!" look on their faces is so worth it.

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