The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Sometimes Silence Offers the Most Support

We read that it’s good to praise your child, in fact, a ratio of five positive statements to every negative one is recommended. I understand the concept and believe in it. However, I am surprised at how often saying nothing at all is the best response, despite it being incredibly challenging given the driving insistence of my daughter.

Last week, she asked for a skateboard. Her dad bought her one. The next day at the park, she couldn’t get the board to turn without shifting the front end. She was frustrated and asked me what to do.

“Maybe your foot position isn’t right.”

“But, it is, Mommy. “

“Maybe it’s about weighting your feet on the board. “

“I can’t Mommy or I'll fall. “

“I don’t know then. “

“But, Mommy, it’s not working. The board is broken. “

“It’s not broken. You'll figure this out," I say as I walk away.

She feigns crying.

I know from experience that the ONLY plausible response on my part at this moment is to say nothing, no matter what she says, or what she accuses me of: in short, completely ignore her. This is very hard for me, because I am tempted to conjure up just one more angle that might solve her problem. The trouble is that she’s not listening to me, she can’t at this point. She has to realize that only she will solve it.

Friends, this has worked so many times. It worked with her Heelys. She was miffed when I left her stranded in the kitchen one day. But, guess what she did! She set up the kitchen chairs in a row and pulled herself from one to the next until she became more comfortable with the sliding action. Then, she took the chairs away one by one, until she was zipping solo across all the bare floors of the house, then down the aisles at Costco and Target. I could not have come up with the chair idea if I tried.

Will she master the skateboard? I’d put my money on it. Should I keep my advice and commentary to a minimum? Yes, except that I slipped yesterday. She completed a half circle on the board.

“You’re amazing!” I said.

By Vicki Inglis

Labels: , , , , ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble This Post Add to Technorati Favorites

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?