Any parent knows that the moment a child sees water there will be instantaneous deafness. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an ocean, lake, river, stream or mud puddle. Even a Dixie cup full of water is a child magnet…because children cannot hear parents when they see water.

Suddenly, the brain sends a signal that bypasses the ears and goes straight to the child’s legs and tells the child to jump, dive, stomp or splash in the water. Not until the child is soaking wet and shivering do parents’ voices register.

“What did you do that for? I told you we were NOT getting wet today!”

Come on, parents. Did you ever get near water yourself as a child and NOT get wet?

The minute the car stops so the family can take a look at the water, all bets are off. Somebody is going to get wet and it’s going to be a total soak. In fact, the amount of soaking will be directly related to the lack of towels and dry clothes on hand, meaning the less prepared you are the more soaked your child will be.

Unless the water is in a sink filled with dirty dishes, your kids will not be able to resist its magnetic pull.

Another great distraction is the television. The third parent has far more command over children than do mom and dad. Television ON = child’s hearing OFF.

“Junior, how was your day?”

No response.

“Did you enjoy the lunch I made you?”

Still no response.

“Your father and I decided to buy you a pony….”

It doesn’t matter. It could be the news and even a three-year old will stop, pivot toward the tube and the eyes will glaze over, the jaw will go slack and there’s no getting through to him.

“I’ve got ice cream!” you sing. Who cares? No child can resist television. You’d do better if you made a commercial. “We interrupt this broadcast so Timmy’s dad can say, “Tim, it’s time for bed. Now.’”

And try talking to a child delving into a sack of candy. A child cannot see, grab and stuff candy in his mouth AND hear at the same time. It’s biologically impossible. Cookies, pizza and soda have the same effect.

Children mean well, but there are certain things a parent must avoid in order to keep a child’s attention. So put away the candy, turn off the television and drive to the middle of the desert where you can use these things to negotiate with your child (some call it bribery). They’ll be putty in your hands as long as you can stand the whining—something that tends to make parents deaf.
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Jelly Mom™ is written by Lisa Barker, mother of five and author of “Just Because Your Kids Drive You Insane… Doesn’t Mean You Are A Bad Parent!” and is syndicated through Parent To Parent™. To publish Jelly Mom™, buy the book or leave comments, please visit Sign up for the complimentary Jelly Mom™ weekly newsletter and receive a BONUS GIFT!

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