Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Scripts for life

I don't know about you, but I often find that my children need coaching in using appropriate language in their interactions with others...especially other family members. More than a few times in a day I discover that I am performing monologues for my children to feed them the correct response. For instance, when I ask P. to empty the dishwasher for me, sometimes her response is a perturbed sigh. To which I respond, "Oh, you mean, 'Of course, Mother dear. I'd be happy to help. Is there anything else I could do for you?' " I rarely get the 'Mother dear' part repeated, though.

This morning, TM accidentally ran the laundry basket into D., which provoked tears and an angry accusation of, "Owwwww! TM hit me really hard!" TM immediately reacted with, "No I didn't!" Having been on the scene for this particular altercation, I knew it was an accident, so was able to give them each their new script. D., you mean, "TM, that really hurt when you ran the basket into me." And TM, you mean, "I'm sorry, D. It was an accident; I didn't mean to hurt you. Are you OK?"

I also find I do this with some of my children who are not so adept at expressing their feelings and desires. A couple of weeks ago, B. came up to me while I was sewing and asked where M. was. I said she was with a friend and then they were going to youth group. B.'s response was, "Oh" with a rather hang-dog expression. But I have become practiced in reading his non-existent super-titles, so I asked, "You mean, gee, I kind of wanted to go to youth group, too?"

B. -- "Yeah, what time is it?" with a continuing hang-dog expression.

Me -- "You mean, since it's already begun, maybe you could drive me?

B. -- "Yeah." And we hopped in the car and I took him to youth group, though I couldn't help but add the question of, "Wouldn't that have been easier if you had just asked if you could go to youth group and could I give you a ride?"

Since so many of my children excel at memorizing great numbers of words for plays, seemingly with very little effort, I have thought of making my own family script book for them. You know, each page would have a subject, such as, 'Words for when someone hurts your feelings' or 'What to say when asked to help' Think of the time I would save when I could just refer them to a page number. B., go read page 7 on asking for assistance and get back to me. Of course this only works for the reading members of the family. Until such time, I guess I will just continue my lonely monologues of polite, kind, and caring speech.

1 comment:

Cuppa Jo said...

when I am met with the sighs, or the moans, or the "awww", etc. I ALWAYS use this tactic, "Hmm, that line didn't sound right. Could you try it again? From the top?"

They adjust.

Or get grounded.

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