Children should be seen and not heard was the prevailing wisdom when I was a child. It led to a lot of self-esteem problems – why did no one care what I had to say? So I decided to take a different approach with my daughter, and let her talk as much as she wanted. Now I am starting to regret that decision since my daughter has turned into a blabbermouth!
I’ve been wondering lately if this ailment is more prevalent with elementary school girls than boys. I’m a magnet for young girls at the bus stop in the early morning because I actually listen to them, or to be more accurate, I have the appearance of listening.
There’s two ways to look at the problem. If they are merely practicing verbalization skills, it’s all good. If they are honing their thinking skills, I’m not sure I’m doing my daughter a favor by letting her talk non-stop about TV plots and what everyone had at lunch that day in the cafeteria.
Part of effective communication is knowing what NOT to say, editing the content in your head to deliver the most effective message. But if I tell her I don’t want to hear everything, just the most important parts, I shift the focus to me – she has to decide what I want to hear and deliver it, rather than focusing on what she finds interesting.
I guess I’ll keep letting her talk. It’s always a balance to try to figure out whether I’m overly indulgent, or developing her self esteem. I have to admit that because I wasn’t allowed to talk much as a child, I am now a blabbermouth, too. But it took a lifetime to allow myself this purge, and you can stop reading if it doesn’t interest you.Powered by Sidelines