“Mommy, will you play with me?”
“In a minute.”
“Mommy, can we go to the park?”
These answers often roll off my tongue without much thought behind them. But when I stop and consider what I’m really thinking, I realize it is usually not what I am saying. “In a minute” really means “Once I finish everything that I’m trying to accomplish” and “Maybe later” often means “No.” I’ve been challenged recently to slow down and begin saying what I mean to my daughter.
So instead of saying “in a minute,” I try to define for her when, like “once I finish unloading the dishwasher” or “after you take a nap.” Not only does that give her a specific time (at two, she doesn’t really understand “a minute” anyway), but it holds me accountable to actually follow through. I also am trying to use the word “maybe” only when the possibility really does exist. Even though I don’t always want to deal with her response to a negative answer, I don’t want to continue putting her off when I know we ultimately won’t be doing what she is requesting.
What helps you to remember to say what you mean?