The other day I called my husband on the way home from work to check in, as he was going to need to take off soon after I arrived to travel for work. Asking what the girls were up to I found out that they had gotten in trouble and were in their rooms. A rare occurrence under Dad’s supervision… Come to find out that they had went over to the neighbors (a cute boy one grade older than Jordan, and a fun girl in middle school) to see if they wanted to play. They weren’t able to. But my persistent children went back and asked them….4 times.
James was mortified watching from his office window and is certain that they’ve become the Kimmy Giblers’ of the neighborhood.
As I fished for their version of the story over dinner, which was ever so slow to get out, I reinforced the message that ‘asked and answered’ went beyond the parental realm and into the life realm. Have you heard this phrase before? Asked and answered. This sentence changed our lives a few years ago! I don’t even know where or how I came across it….it may have even been a blog something like this one.
Picture it – maybe you’re living it right now…small child asks the same request over and over and over and you’ve already made your decision. Perhaps you’ve explained the why and spoke logic to your child…because we feel like they may understand reason or maybe you went with the staple – “because I said so.” Either way. They asked, you answered. It was clearly NOT the answer that your precious offspring desired, so they asked again – a different way, a different time, to a different parent, or perhaps they weren’t even that creative and asked again 2 minutes later.
This is not the type of response you’d give to those inquisitive minds that are desiring to learn. You need to figure out your answers to these just like we did, sorry. 😉
- Why is the sky blue?
- Do you think God made the sidewalks?
- Why are their spiders in your armpits, Dad?
- Where do babies come from, Mom?
BUT ‘asked and answered’ is the perfect response for one of these.
- Can I have another cookie?
- How many more bites of chicken to I have to eat?
- When can I go over to Mason’s?
- Can we look up Dove Cameron’s fan club now?
If you’ve already answered said question once – you simply respond to request number two with, “Asked and Answered.” Period. Don’t explain your why again. Don’t rehash it. Don’t change your mind. Don’t get angry. Don’t redirect to your spouse. End it.
In our household it took a time or two to get the message across that this phrase meant – stop asking. Now when we use the phrase it shuts down…I’m going to say it – some of the annoying factor that permeates from kids at times. And it saves parental grief and frustration. Win/win!
Up until now, our girls thought that this ‘philosophy’ was only alive and well in our home – but now they understand that it can be translated to real life itself!
If our neighbor kids Sophia and Grant said that they can’t play (or don’t want to – I wouldn’t blame them one bit) after you asked…then that’s your answer. Asked and answered. Helping them put this into practice on their own is our next challenge.
How do you deal with the sometimes-incessant questions of your mini-me? Test out the ‘asked and answered’ and let me know how it goes!
Thank you for joining me on my journey to influence.