Today I decided to count the amount of times I said stop to either of my boys. 23 times. 23! Here are just a few:
- ‘Stop jumping on the lounge, thankyou.’
- ‘Please stop doing that.’
- ‘Stop it. Your brother doesn’t want you on top of him.’
- ‘That’s enough. It’s time to stop now.’
- ‘No more lollies now. You need to stop or you’ll be sick.
- ‘Stop wriggling. I need to wipe your hands.’
- ‘You need to stop now and pack up. We’re going home.’
I don’t think they heard any other word with the same frequency, with the possible exception of the word ‘no’. I certainly didn’t tell them I loved them 23 times today. The only thought that gave me any solace was that I cancelled out the ‘stops’ with positive comments. Praising them as many times as they were asked to refrain from doing something made me feel a little better.
Using the word so often made me realise how often we see, hear or say it in our adult world. The ‘s’ word features in/on:
- TV shows, ‘Stop! Police!’
- advertisements, ‘Stop everything! Come in for 50% off store-wide.’
- road signs (of course we need these ones)
- radio, songs like, ‘Stop. Hammertime.’, ‘Stop Right Now’, ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’, ‘Stop! In the Name of Love.’
I also noticed that it tends to lose its effectiveness the more often the kids hear it. It begins to fall on deaf ears. So I made a decision today. I’m going to try singing my stop instructions to them tomorrow. At the very least I’ll probably get their attention because they’ll think that Mum has lost her marbles. They’ll probably double over with laughter but they will have also stopped doing whatever it was they were doing.
I love my kids when they stop if asked to. They’ll probably be asking me to stop singing tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted!