Monday, May 17, 2010

sticky situations

i have been reading a fascinating book, called the tipping point.
it would have been such help to me when i was raising my children,
because one of the premises is that little ones pay attention to what
they understand not just things that excite them.

ph.d's studied pre-schoolers while they were watching "sesame street"
to monitor when they became distracted.   they assumed that the kids
would look away if the show couldn't keep their attention, or if an
outside stimulus beguiled them.

what they discovered, instead, was that the children attended to what
they could understand, but looked away when something didn't make
sense to them.

think of all the things we say to our children:  "keep your eyes peeled,
don't count your chickens before they hatch, what goes around-comes
around."  it's no wonder they aren't paying attention to us!

they can't understand us.  "give me understanding, that i may keep
Your law . . . "  psalm 119:34



Andrea said...

Great points!

Vee said...

Ha! This reminds me of the expression I used last week with my 4-year-old grandson. We were playing baseball and I said, "Keep your eye on the ball." You guessed it, the next time he got the ball, he put his eye right on it. We have lots and lots of expressions in this country, don't we? I suppose that is true of all languages and makes the language richer imho. But for the little ones, yes, important to be very clear. (I've also realized that not everyone understands colloquialisms in the same way so I must be careful in my blog writing, too.)

Your post also reminds me of the study done years ago comparing children who watched Sesame Street and children who watched Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Kindergarten teachers had been noticing a lack of attention span shortly after the advent of Sesame Street. What they discovered was that Sesame Street moves very quickly and that children were being trained to have attention spans no longer than a few minutes. Children who watched Mr. Rogers'..., on the other hand, were able to pay attention for periods of 15 to 20 minutes. I always found that very interesting. (And if I've shared this before, you'll know that I truly have found this very interesting and that I'm losing it.)

Rebecca said...

I love your blog, Lea! No matter what you write about I find it fascinating!

Hope your day is wonderful!


christy rose said...

Oh that is so true!! I know that when I find myself confused or lost when someone es speaking, I get distracted and start thinking about other things. I do not want to get distracted from Truth.

Help my understanding Lord so that I do not get distracted from Truth!!!

Great concept for this post!! :)

Michelle said...

That makes a LOT of sense! Thanks for sharing.

Sonja said...

HA! I've both heard them and said them... good point! We could add a list of our

"you don't live in a barn"...

Mrs. Mike said...

A few summers ago, when hosting out-o-town family for an event, the Big Daddy and I were questioned as to whether or not our children, acedemically speaking, were up to speed with other children their age, the only reply I could make was "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom".

A great word! What encouragement that our Creator has wisodom, knowledge to bestow for those who desire understanding!

Thanks, m'ma!

Single and Sane said...

Vee's comment about keeping your eye on the ball reminds me of when I taught preschool worship, and I didn't realize how literal 4-year-olds are until I veered off-script a couple of times. It always took a lot of explaining before I could get back to the point I was supposed to be making. I was much better at the craft portion. =)

Shannon said...

That's so good!! Love it!

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Excellent point!

And a simple point is to always explain [so they can understand, of course] all the "No you can't do that's" which you say to children. I do so with my Grands. Sorry to say, I was not so wise, with my own children.

Why do we think kids will easily follow all our "NO's" and "Don'ts"? Without a reason?

And if you don't have a good reason for saying those things to them, why do they have to follow them?

-stephanie- said...

Love this post. I'm going to remember this when dealing with my young ones.

I had to chuckle....I read the title of your post "sticky situations" and as I clicked to read it I missed my mouth and dropped a big blob of yogurt in my hair. Yup..a sticky situation indeed.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I have that book lying on the night stand...most interesting! Great post.

Jemm said...

This is very true! I'll have to watch myself better :)

Jemm said...

OH! Funny story. Last year we were at my younger daughter's softball game and the coach was trying to be encouraging to the player at bat. He yells "This one's the money ball!" And a little boy in the stands of about 4 or 5 says to his dad, "So, is a money ball just like a really big ball?"

Darcie said...

How interesting! And yet it makes perfect sense!

Susan B said...

This makes a lot of sense. Children are so literal, I'm sure adults cause confusion with some of the things they say.

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Hope you're enjoying a lot of sun too, this week! Have a wonderful new week, Lea! xx

Mountain Mama said...

Ha! Funny. Just yesterday, I told my 3 year old to roll up her window (in the car). She did nothing. She sat there. She acted as if she did not hear me. I was shocked that she was not obeying (or even pretending to obey).
Then it hit me. It probably sounded like I spoke a foreign language to her b/c how do you "roll" a window that is electric and has a button you push?
Makes one think when speaking to our young 'uns.

The Strawberry Mallard said...

And my favorite of all time...."watch your feet!"....yup.........been there,done that, and I have to tell you, it was FUNNY!

Jenners said...

I need to read this book (and his others). I've heard such intersting things about all of them. And I think I'll pay attention to what you just mentioned to see if see that with my own little one.