I gave the instruction and calmly waited for the appropriate response; what I got was silence. I repeated myself one more time and… you could hear crickets chirping. If there is one reply which I find completely inappropriate, besides “what“, it’s a lack of response altogether.
The underlying issue with my children’s silence, isn’t the silence itself. Rather, it is the lack of acknowledgement. I want my children to listen for the sound of my voice and immediately take action.
Why is this important? For several reasons, really. My first reason is for safety; I won’t always have the time to call them multiple times in order to get their attention. What if there were an emergency and they needed to hear me right away? They need to listen and take action! Secondly; it’s a matter of respect. If an adult is speaking to them, it is important they stop what they are doing and take note. Lastly, while this might just be a personal preference, it is extremely frustrating. Who likes talking to someone and getting no reply? I’m not asking for a long explanation, just to know I was heard.
So, if silence and “what” aren’t the proper responses, what feedback would I like to hear? There are several which our children have been taught. They are welcome to announce, “I’m coming!”; “On my way!”; “Moving!”; “Just a moment, please!”; “Yes, mom?” or any such retort.
As long as they acknowledge they have been spoken to and show appropriate action, we are good to go.
What response to you expect when calling your children?