The title of this post is the response I got from my almost (but not guaranteed to make it to) five year old for the question “What did I just ask you to do?”.
Eli and I were tasked with getting the back yard straightened up for guests. I was working with Eli to finish our current priority (straighten the living room) so that we could make our way to the back yard. This plan was cut short because Eli did not want to put a specific toy in a specific location that I had requested three times. “No dad, I will just put it here.” Ah, the sound of “no” from my son.
I do not mind hearing “no” when I ask a question. “No” is a perfectly good answer to almost any question, even when it is not the answer I want to hear. But “no” is not fine when I have made a request, or at this point made a demand. At that point “no” is a trigger word. It is the “I am going to test you dad. ” , “I am going to see just how this system works and where the limits are.” So when I got “no” to my request I asked him to repeat my request to me. I do this sometimes to make sure he is listening instead of just hearing. The response…. “Blah, blah, blah, blah.”
Well, if he was looking for boundaries to test, he sure found one! I considered a swat to the rear-end. Put that on the back burner in case I could not get through with the other tools at hand. Five minute time-out.
I ask “Now, why were you in time out?” to which Eli responds “Because I did not put that where you wanted it.” I make it clear that is not the reason he was in time out. “Blah, blah, blah, blah” I said “is the perfect way of telling someone you do not respect them or what they are saying.” I asked him if he thought disrespecting me was something he should be doing. The “no” was a good answer.
Later that day he asks to do something fun. I said no, he lost that privilege. He wanted to know why? I told him to tell me why. He gave some innocuous reason and I asked him to try again… “Blah, blah, blah, blah?” Yes son, “Blah, blah, blah, blah.” “Oh.”
Honestly. I sure hope this lesson sticks fast. Kay would have ended him after the second “blah”. And I would have supported her in her actions 100%.
I sure hope he got “green” all day in school today. He still won’t be playing computer/Wii/iPod, but at least he will get to eat that muffin he was craving this morning.