As a nanny, you hold out hope that because the kids aren’t yours they will actually listen to you. But I gave up that hope long ago. Selective hearing is a talent all kids share. I am convinced there has been some evolutionary shift in the development of kid’s ear drums which makes the ability to hear an adult voice who is asking them to do something inaudible. All in all it ends up sounding like this.
There are many aspects of parenting that require patience beyond belief. This is the area that I struggle with constantly. They just don’t hear me. I spend days repeating myself, over and over about simple things. Asking a child to go get their shoes on is one of those things I wish I had an auto button for. Then I could just push the auto button over and over again. It wouldn’t be like I was actually saying it, so maybe, just maybe they would hear it. My personal favorite is when a child is looking dead at me, I give the instructions, he agrees to the instructions and then walks in the opposite direction of where he needs to be going. Aren’t their brains supposed to be able to process this stuff fast and more efficiently? I mean they are like new Macbook Pros all shiny and new, while I’m an Apple IIe in the back of a computer repair shop that never got picked up. It takes me 20 minute just to warm up to the idea of loading. Their synapses should be firing at a staggeringly fast rate. Yet, constantly I find very little has been absorbed, not much has been retained, and they look at me as if I am asking them do to the craziest thing ever. I guess if anything I should figure out the TV frequency and change my voice to match it. Ever try talking to a kid while the TV is on? If I could get that level of concentration and retention in response to something I ask…I probably couldn’t handle it. I’d just fall right over dead, it would be way too much to handle.
In the grand scheme of things, kids not listening to adults is a time honored tradition. I suspect we will see a incline in the not listening behavior as our kids become even more distracted by connected devices. So for today, I am going to shrug my shoulders, throw up my hands and ask them 6 more time to pick up the Legos, before someone steps on them. And when they continue to ignore me, I’ll just have to give them a, “What the pickles?”