We all know how hard it is to hold a thought, especially when you’re eight and you need to an answer to what seems like the world’s most important question, and you need it right now. With a house full of boys, four to be exact (not counting my husband), getting heard can be a difficult feat. Add the fact that you have a ministry driven set of parents who are constantly involved in whatever has caused the church doors to open, and you have a case of interruptions waiting to happen.
Recently I took a stab at rethinking this ongoing issue. I started using a signal with my oldest, the eight year old who’s going on twenty five, so that I would not forget that he is patiently, and quietly waiting for a chance to have the floor. When he wants my attention, in the middle of a conversation, he simply puts his hand on my shoulder and waits. To me it’s a signal that he needs to say something but for him it’s an opportunity to be heard. The best part is, it is working fantastically! It doesn’t mean there’s never an interruption but they have become much more controlled, and the younger boys are picking up on it too!!
This new freedom to speak has made him more comfortable interjecting an idea or witty insight to a problem or task that I may be working on, because there is an opportunity for him to have the floor. As a mom of four, a wife, and a secretary, fresh insight is valuable. You never know what a child may come up with or what unique perspective they may have on how to solve a problem, especially if they never get a chance to talk.