Mama! Mama! Mama!

Recently, we went to breakfast with some friends of ours and their 2 1/2 year old son. While the adults were talking, the young toddler wanted to speak to his mother. Almost simultaneously, both parents gave their child a non-verbal sign. They crossed their pointer fingers and middle fingers and showed the sign to their child… almost immediately, he stopped. He waited patiently for three or four minutes until the discussion was completed. At that point, the parents asked him what he wanted to say and he shared his idea while everyone listened. As I’m watching this, I’m thinking…IF ONLY!!!

My TBP has always struggled with patience, but having to wait to share his thoughts, remains one of the biggest challenges. It seems to be worse when we are driving in the car. His continued perception is that we don’t allow him any time to talk. It doesn’t seem possible to us (or our ears), but we try to check ourselves to make sure that we are actively listening in between our discussions.

Outside of the car, we have the same issue. I might be watching a show or working, and my TBP doesn’t understand why I don’t want to stop immediately to see the latest village he has made in Mine Craft. Don’t get me wrong…I adore him. Anyone that knows me, knows that he is the center of my world but… this constant need for attention and not wanting to wait is exhausting. Just today, I was putting laundry away upstairs and I heard him scream for me. I dropped the laundry, ran downstairs, and shouted his name to see what had occured. I was out of breath when I said, “Are you okay. What’s wrong?!” He said quietly, “Nothing…I just needed you.” While this sounds sweet (and I’m glad that he wants me near him) it is the interrupting and need for immediate attention that is frustrating.

We have noticed that the interrupting increases at certain times. When he is tired or hungry, he doesn’t seem to have the ability to control his impulsiveness. If school has been especially challenging or there is an activity coming up that he is anxious about, we have to be prepared for a bit more frequent check ins. Understanding and preparing for this, has been a preventive measure that we didn’t understand in years past. We also make a deliberate effort to spend 15-20 minutes a day giving him 100% of our attention (no cell phones, texting, or multi-tasking) in addition to the bedtime routine and reading. This usually is enough, but on tough days, more time might be needed. Actually on really rough days, no amount of attention seems to be enough! I’m sure many of you understand oh so well what I’m talking about here!

Interrupting is annoying to me and to others (especially those without children). The ability to wait and not interrupt, seems to be one of the most important pillars of good manners. Because of this, we continue to work on it and compliment him when he is able to wait. If you are the parent of a TBP, you know that we do not accept these controlling and manipulative behaviors sitting down. It’s just sometimes, we NEED to sit down for that moment. And then before too long, we get back up and try it again!

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