Monday, June 9, 2008

Finding your voice

The Baby and I are both working on our voices, in different ways. I’ve been learning lately that figuring out how to effectively communicate is just as tough for the parent as it is for the child. I just assumed it would mostly be The Baby figuring out verbal and non-verbal ways to let us know what he wants. As far as being The Voice of Authority, I always thought that I would be a tough-love kind of parent. Firm, yet kind. Don’t give in, and the child will catch on. I never figured in the part where they’d laugh at me.

Mommy Voice
I’m trying to find The Voice. You know the one… it keeps kids in line, but it’s not so bad that your eye starts twitching when you use it. And it doesn't scare your kids into therapy.

The Baby’s newest game is trying to crawl onto the coffee table. I appreciate the fact that he wants to do this. It’s one of the first things that he can wiggle his way onto at home. Neato for him! But still, it’s the coffee table and it’s not acceptable. Whenever I catch him, I say “You aren’t allowed on the coffee table,” and I gently slide him back onto the floor. I try to be stern with him. He laughs at me. Nice. I am firmly in control.

Anyway, repeat the cycle 20 times. He’s frustrated, I am frustrated. I tried several times to move him away from the table and engage him in another activity. Right back to the table. *sigh* He put his elbows on the table, leaned over, wriggled a knee up, and just when he thought he was in the clear, I belted out, “Get off that table, NOW!”

I’ve never seen a little boy move so fast. He reversed it off the table in one second. He stood there and looked at me – his eyes a pool of sorrow, his bottom lip slowly emerged and began to quiver. And then he cried. Boy, did he cry. I felt like a witch. But he listened, whereas he completely ignored me or didn’t take me seriously before.

There has got to be a happy medium between my toddler laughing at me and me yelling at him. HELP!

Baby Talk
The Baby is 14 months old today and, for all practical purposes, he doesn’t talk. He is vocal, for sure. Every morning around 5:45, we hear him loud and clear. He’s like a friggin’ rooster. He also chatters throughout the day. But he doesn’t say many words. He can say “uh-oh” in context and he can say “tickle.” Sometimes it’s in context, mostly not. He does not say “mommy” or “daddy” or “cup” or “cat.” He doesn’t nod or shake his head. I’m a little concerned.

My sister-in-law said that kids often start learning physically or verbally first. They tend to run with one and catch up later with the other. I’m hoping that that’s what is happening here.

8 comments: said...

Your SIL is right. Generally if they walk first, they talk later or vice versa. My son was just like yours. Walking, running, climbing. He didn't really start talking until about 17 months, but by 20 months, he had over 300 words. (I know. I kept a running count.)

And, you will find the diciplinarian voice. At that age, I had to do a bit of spanking to keep mine from hurting himself, but now that he's older, it's all about the 1,2,3 & vocal tone.

Kathryn said...

Boys verbal skills come much later than girls. It is a fact. My oldest barely said anything until he was two and then we couldn't get him to shut up. Now his verbal exceeds his classmates.
As long as he is expressive and jabbering I would worry. It all comes with time.

sky girl said...

My "Voice" used to work wonders. Now Chicka thinks it's funny a lot of the time. Gr.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

When you figure out the voice, how about you record it and post it? I'm still trying to get it just right. I've got The Mom Look, but can't quite get the yell perfected.

Anonymous said...

I am of the mind that babies are already used to the soft loving tones we (and others) have used since the moment of their birth. I think they need to hear a higher volume or sterner tone OR a combination of the both in order for them to register that this is something that needs to be paid attention to immediately. Especially if their safety is at stake. So, while I am not a proponent of constant yelling - that defeats the purpose - I think that there is a place for yelling in parenting. Even if it makes them cry.

Vanessa said...

Our little man doesn't have many words yet either, and the Dr seemed concerned that he wasn't saying much at his 12 month checkup. She said they would like to see at least 6 words by 15 months. He doesn't have that many, and 15 months is this weekend. He says da da, kitty, bubbles (but not always in context) sometimes byebye. Bubbles is the one he says most frequently. Oh, and I guess he says more or milk, not sure which it is supposed to mean (It sounds like moe). Most of these are new in the last few weeks.

Angela said...

Mine fell into the one or the other thing too. He JUST started walking and he is almost the same age as yours...but he says tons of words...hard ones too like "sissy" and "fan". :) He WILL NOT say mama...although I KNOW he can. He say's dada, sissy, dog, everyone but mama :(

jennifer, playgroups are no place for children said...

I'm an SLP and you don't need to worry if he's not talking just yet!

My daughter laughs at all my attempts to use my "mommy voice". She only responds when I tell her no and then go sit her far away from whatever she's been messing with. It really hurts her feelings!