Playing Dumb - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 8 Old 06-01-2014, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
campbellsoup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bishop Hill, Illinois
Posts: 215
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Playing Dumb

My son just turned 7 and this has been going on for months. I am reaching the end of my rope. I can ignore the random stuff (mom, why are we having a brownie for dinner? it is a piece of roast on his plate) That kind of stuff I just ignore. I pretend I didn't hear. Usually works pretty well, although his siblings are annoyed too and I have a hard time getting them to ignore it.
The real big problem happens when I am asking him to do something. For example, I ask him to pick up anything. The object may be 2 feet in front of him and I am pointing at it. He will say, "where are my shoes, I don't see them," and proceed to wander around for several minutes until he "discovers" his sneakers. All this is fine and I let him play out his drama unless we need to be somewhere. If we are in a hurry, I can't wait 5 minutes or longer for this one step.
He does this with everything. I should be able to come up with an infinite amount of examples but my mind is going blank. It happens so many times a day....every day. Perhaps, a huge number of examples is not needed. Same story, different details. Can anyone commiserate? Any ideas on how I can make this stop before I lose what's left of my mind?

Baker's Wife and Catholic Unschooling Mama to Simeon (12), James (9), Amos (7) and Annie (4) and Jonah (2)
campbellsoup is offline  
#2 of 8 Old 06-02-2014, 07:24 PM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,824
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
It sounds to me like he has figured out that he can eke out a bit more attention from doing this 'playing dumb' act. Perhaps if you need something done, you can just ask him to do, set the timer and then ignore the shenanigans he gives you. If it's not done when the timer rings, perhaps you take him a little late the next time he asks to go to a friend's house. Just a natural consequence, not something vindictive.

And then pay attention a LOT more to his good actions and behaviors when he is NOT doing this type of thing. I think you can turn it around!

 
lauren is offline  
#3 of 8 Old 06-06-2014, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
campbellsoup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bishop Hill, Illinois
Posts: 215
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thank you, Lauren. I was suspicious of this being an attention getting behavior. I feel like he does not lack attention but... he may feel differently. And... he is the middle child. You know what they say about middle kids feeling displaced. I will give it my best shot and keep on keeping on

Baker's Wife and Catholic Unschooling Mama to Simeon (12), James (9), Amos (7) and Annie (4) and Jonah (2)
campbellsoup is offline  
#4 of 8 Old 06-06-2014, 06:03 PM
 
stormborn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,719
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Oh, that pushes my buttons too for some reason! I think mine (6 yo) just does it to be funny or stall. I tend to ignore it as well; with the shoe thing I would just hustle him out the door with shoes in my hand to be put on in the car if necessary and a "we don't have time for games right now, move it along please!".
stormborn is offline  
#5 of 8 Old 06-08-2014, 06:46 AM
 
mamalisa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Germantown WI
Posts: 8,431
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The 5 year old i babysit does this and it drives me up the wall. We were carrying in groceries and I asked her to carry a bag with a loaf of bread. "I never carry things" "this is too heavy" "I can't find the handles". OMG. Just pick it up!! I tend to challenge her "Yea, you're right, you're just a little kid, there's no way you could do it." That usually makes her want to prove that she's big and then she can do it (she has 3 older siblings). Or I try the "of course you can, you're big and strong!" It depends on her mood and which way I think I'm more likely to see results.
mamalisa is offline  
#6 of 8 Old 06-08-2014, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
campbellsoup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bishop Hill, Illinois
Posts: 215
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I'll admit it...I yelled at my son today. I try to keep cool. I really do.

This gigantic pile of shoes accumulates by our front door and periodically needs to be sorted out and put away. This is a perfect job for my 7 year old. I had to call him back 3 times to finish the job. Still remaining calm. The third time I call him and say to him (he is only a couple feet away) that he needs to pick up his sister's shoes and put them in her room (he has thrown them in my room...3 pairs, I think.)He says "OK" and starts scooping up all the shoes to take to his sister's room. I stop him and say, "I said YOUR SISTER"S shoes in HER bedroom." Voice still not raised. He says (god bless him), "You didn't say that." "YES I DID!!!"

I am glad some of you are out there that can commiserate. Some very good suggestions too

Baker's Wife and Catholic Unschooling Mama to Simeon (12), James (9), Amos (7) and Annie (4) and Jonah (2)
campbellsoup is offline  
#7 of 8 Old 06-09-2014, 03:43 AM
 
lauren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In a state of grace
Posts: 6,824
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Don't be so hard on yourself for losing your cool every now and then!!!

That said, I will add, that this type of thing can create a lot of wear and tear in your relationship with your child. I know this from personal experience. Some kids are not good listeners and don't process well by hearing. Find out what really works for him and try to use that strategy. Both my son (and my husband for that matter) prefer I write a list for them of things that need to be done (and if I want it done a certain way, it works better if I write it out). I've gotten used to just doing it so that things can get done. I've also learned to let go more of things being done 'my way.' If i can only tolerate it being done my way, I do it myself (and I decide which things those are).

 
lauren is offline  
#8 of 8 Old 08-14-2014, 09:13 AM
 
leahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My DD does this as well. I treat like the game that it is. If I have time I play along, otherwise I tell her "We don't have time for that game right now, we have to do x right now but after we can do y." y being whatever activity I feel like doing with her after we finish x.
If I have time to play along there are variations, pretending I can't find the shoes either. or pretending that grocery bag is too heavy for me as well "oh well I guess we have to leave it in the car what a shame those brussel sprouts would have been yummy steamed with a little melted butter. and we won't be able to have dessert if we don't eat those brussel sprouts. Oh well maybe the dog will like the peach cobbler." Then I watch how fast DD moves to get those groceries in the house.

I find most of the silly little games my DD likes to play are only annoying if I let them be. If I play along they usually aren't so bad. Hope you both find some middle ground that makes everyone happy.
leahr is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off