In our large family, my children discovered how to interact with each other, without my constant intervention. In fact all my children have wonderful people skills today because they lived in a house with ten other very different personalities who all shared one full bathroom.Just imagine the tact it required to squeeze any sink and mirror time in the bathroom if you happened to have five or six older sisters!
The kids learned interpersonal techniques through the old trial and error method. I did not tolerate fighting or yelling among my children , so each child had to figure out which approach gained co-operation from another sibling. I was proud of their negotiating skills.
For example, one evening when Matthew was seven and his brother David was two, Matthew sat on the floor and reached over the edge of the tub to play with his little brother who was in bubbly, warm water.
Matthew turned to me and asked, “Want to know how to get a two-year old to do what you want him to do?
I smiled in anticipation and nodded.
“Watch this”, Matthew commanded.
He asked David, “David, do you want the orange ball or the blue boat?”
David chose the blue boat.
Hardly taking a breath, Matthew asked his little brother the very same question but this time he changed the word order of his request, “Dave, do you want the blue boat or the orange ball?”
David dropped the boat and reached for the ball.
Matthew turned around with a proud little smile on his face, looked at me and said, “Two year olds always choose the last thing that you say!”
4 comments on My Seven-Year Old Teaches Me How to Influence a Two-Year Old
How smart of Matthew! I sense that David will be onto his antics soon.
We just had a houseful of visitors and I can relate to 9 waiting for a little sink and mirror time. I learned quite quickly who had a sense of humor…and when it was lacking. That was terrific, Melanie.
the drama queens got up half an hour earlier and some used the upstairs half bathroom but it was busy and times like a military campaign, It was hilarious
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