Finding Creative Solutions to Problems We Face Over and Over

“Joey, Joey, can you please get your shoes for work? Joey, Joey.”

“Joey, time to brush your teeth. Joey, Joey…..”

“Joey, let’s sit down for dinner. Joey, Joey….JOEY.”

Honestly sometimes I feel like I’m talking to the wind getting him to move and do something I’m requesting! I know he hears me, but I don’t think I’m getting through. I am appreciative that Joey can walk, talk (a little), and do a good number of things on his own. Perhaps just like the economics teacher (Ben Stein) in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off looking for ANYONE to answer his monotone monologue of questions, I am rambling what Joey is hearing as a monotone monologue of requests that he has tuned out!

The familiar scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off seems to visit our home often—and all the time!

I don’t have all the answers how to get him to hear me and respond but this is what I’ve had to resort to:

  • “Joey, I called you 3 times for dinner. I’m eating your dinner now-YUMMY!” (Somehow he heard that and comes running!)
  • “Joey, since you won’t come and brush your teeth, I’ll brush my teeth with your ...” (Somehow he heard that and tells me that would be gross!)
  • “Joey, please get your shoes on for work! Joey, you want to go to Aunt Susie’s tomorrow, but you’ll need SHOES!” (All of a sudden ...)

I know in the realm of all challenges and troubles, this is certainly very low on the list, but nonetheless, when it happens over and over again it becomes frustrating and irritating. I’m sure some of you wish your child could find and put on their own shoes, and I know you have your own set of “wonderings” if you’re getting through to your loved one.

Joe and I find this irritating but then, I have to admit, we do the same thing as Joey but to each other just to be funny and lighten the tension. Other times, when we are more mature about “real” life here is what we do:

  • We go over to Joey to bring him, not just verbalize our droning drills, to where we need him to be.
  • Sometimes we tell him ahead of time what we expect: face to face not from the other room
  • When we know he is easily distracted, so we put his hand on our shoulder so he can be guided more quickly in the right direction as we walk and he follows our lead.
  • When he is getting overwhelmed at all the things going on we make a list for him so he can check off things, making it clearer to him what is next.
  • We encourage him when he does listen and follows through in a timely manner

Perhaps you can you relate to both the challenges and frustrations and simple ways to try to work through them….