Archive for January 20th, 2008

Zzzzzip it!

January 20th, 2008 12 comments

This morning, Steve and I had been talking with Emily about going to the zoo at some point. She’s very excited, but clearly doesn’t want to go right now. She wanted to set a date far in the future, to give herself some time to get adjusted. She picked Nov 12th at random, and then we settled on a date in August. So after all that, she told us, “I want to go play now.” That’s fine. She’s eight, and we had been talking about something fairly directed and focused, and she was still in her PJs, for Pete’s sake.

Shortly thereafter:

Me: I need to go to the post office later, do you want to come?
Emily: No, thank you. I want to stay here.
Me: Okay, that’s fine, but I’d still like you to put on some daytime clothes.
Emily: Okay. Then will you leave me alone?

Heh. I think she was worried I’d still make her go to the post office. The thing is, she really doesn’t mean it rudely! Any more than she does when she says, “I don’t want to answer that now” or “I’m done talking” and then launches into an involved story involving someone imaginary. She really does mean what she says, and she says it very matter-of-factly. She’s had enough of whatever I’m forcing her to concentrate on, and she needs to do her own thing. The tough part is getting her to communicate that in a way that doesn’t come off like “talk to the hand!” We seem to have curbed a flat “Stop talking” from her.

So what’s a short, effective, direct, polite way that you can tell someone that you need to not talk with them anymore? Something an eight-year-old would understand would be ideal.

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