One day I sat in a doctor’s office waiting for my appointment, while a mother was in the same waiting room with her little boy (around 6 years old). The mother was sitting in a chair looking at her phone while she and her son waited for the doctor to call them in.
The little boy tried to interact with his mother in so many positive ways (mommy look at this…mommy what do you think of this….mommy can you read this to me?) but she just ignored him and looked at her phone. It wasn’t until he went under the office chairs, stood on the chairs, sang loudly and ran in the waiting room that she shifted her attention to him. “Stop running!” “Be quiet!” “Get down from there!” “Get out of there!” It was this interaction coupled with my training and experiences as a behavior specialist and school psychologist that inspired me to write this poem! Would love to hear your thoughts!
Mommy, Can you See Me?
Mommy mommy, can you see me? I am playing nicely with my toys.
Mommy can you hear me? I’m trying not to make a lot of noise.
Mommy, did you notice? I shared my candy with my brother.
Mommy are you proud? I said “please may I have another?”
I thought that’s what you wanted but you didn’t even smile.
Learning how to make you happy might just take a while.
You noticed when I threw my toys. You yelled at me that day.
You noticed when I was playing loud. You took my toys away.
You put me in the corner because I didn’t share.
When I didn’t use my manners, you gave me an evil stare.
Please help me understand how I’m supposed to act.
When I do the wrong things, that’s when you react.
I just want you to see me, and I know how to make you look.
When I act like I’m supposed to, all you do is stare at Facebook.
Mommy can’t you see? I just want you to notice.
I might learn to be a good kid, if you learn to shift your focus.
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Rachel Wise is a certified school psychologist and licensed behavior specialist with a Master’s Degree in Education. She is also the head author and CEO at educationandbehavior.com, a site for parents, caregivers, educators, counselors, and therapists to find effective, research-based strategies that work for children. Rachel has been working with individuals with academic and behavioral needs for over 20 years and has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of children and the adults who support them. For Rachel’s top behavioral strategies all in one place, check out her book, Building Confidence and Improving Behavior in Children, a Guide for Parents and Teachers. If you want Rachel to write for your business, offer behavioral or academic consultation, or speak at your facility about research-based strategies that support children, email her at email@example.com.