Ever wish you could just buy something, as a way out of a problem?
I wish I could buy parental attention, so that I could have a ready supply for my son, for all those moments when I just need to do something else.
John hates math, and he is really hating TouchMath every day. Every day, I make a list like this, on old-fashioned paper (Thanks, Rosemary Slade), and just point. Like the Ghost of Christmas Past. And I have added, “say the words or we start over”.
I was frustrated, drowning in re-directing, my son John playing me like a harp. Stalling. Driving me mad.
So Mom got smart. I started taking him with me. Wherever I needed to go. To the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the office. I had already learned I couldn’t walk away (because he cheats), and I couldn’t hurry him up (because he stalls). My attention to his TouchMath seems to be ESSENTIAL.
That is why I want to buy attention. A big fat box of it, that I can throw at the problem and walk away.
But that isn’t how John is going to learn. Learn TouchMath, learn ANYTHING.
So, I make my attention portable. I keep aware of the sounds, so I know which chapter he is in by the words I hear. My eyes may flit away temporarily as my hands do my chores. But Mom keeps her cool—-because the stall is now John wasting his time. NOT MINE.
The TouchMath apps follow quite well the theories of their (free) training, but there is NO substitute for paying attention and staying in the moment with his learning.
Today, finally, John took delight in marking off each chapter done, after he showed me the chapter summary screen (so watch for that).
I have learned to be aware of small moments of new learning (evidence that a learning hole has been back-filled), and never interfere of that demonstration. But, oh my, I soak up the memory and dance in my heart for every small achievement, whatever he didn’t do before, and is now doing.
So, fellow parents, take heart that your vigilance and persistence of giving attention is vital, precious, necessary, and your own unique reward.
We really can’t buy attention, right?
We can only give it.