It has come to my attention that my columns are not only being read by my peers but also by their children. So in this column, I’d like to address my younger readers.
I’d like to talk to you about your parents, maybe give you some tips on how best to deal with them. I know, I know, you’ve always thought I was the cool mom. Now you know it’s true. So here goes:
Tip #1: Solo Talking. Get together with your siblings and agree to not interrupt each other when you’re talking to your parents. This means that any communication, no matter how pressing, cannot be undertaken until the other person is finished with their questions, comments, grievances or stories. To reiterate, if one of you is talking to a parent, the other cannot say a word until they’re done. Really.
This will freak your parents out and you will definitely be able to take advantage of it.
Example: “Dad, wasn’t that a great story that ‘Insert Siblings’ Name Here’ told? Cool, huh? Wasn’t it really neat when I didn’t interrupt, even though it was incredibly boring and what I had to say had to be said immediately? How about an extra $20 in the old allowance this week?”
Your parent will probably say something like, “Wow! Of course! So that’s what your voice sounds like! I always thought you were a chorus! Anything you want, you awesome non-interruptor!”
Tip #2 Listening. Next time your mom asks you to do something like, lets say, put your shoes on or get into the car, just do it. It’s a lot to ask. But the payoff will be huge.
She will be so shocked and appreciative that you will be able to get almost anything you want. One good listen will turn her to putty in your hands.
It’ll go something like this. She’ll tell you to do something. Then, a few minutes later, she will say, at top volume,“I said you need to ... blah, blah, blah.” But when she realizes you actually listened to her, she’ll say something to the effect of,”You already did it? What the...? Wow!”
Once she’s at a loss for words, you’ll know that you have successfully primed her for a request. Candy at 8 a.m? No problem! A new Skylander character pack for your Wii because you simply don’t have enough of them lying around unused in the basement? Absolutely!
Tip # 3: Homework. Come home from school one day and say something like, “Hey mom, I’m going to go ahead and get my homework done. That way, I’ll have the rest of the day to play or hang out.”
Then watch as your mother’s face registers first shock, then surprise and then a blissful, happy look that you may not recognize. This is called extreme joy.
This should be all you need as a reward. But, again, if you’re in it for more, you can also milk this and probably get something out of it. She will definitely buy you that thing on TV that you saw a commercial for and just had to have (only $19.99 and it comes with a free laser pointer!).
And if none of this works, don’t blame me. I’m just some lady your mom knows.
Lauren Menis is a Dunwoody mother whose column appears in The Crier each month. You can reach Lauren at Lauren.Menis@gmail.com.