Yes or What?

I cannot even count the number of times each day my kids ask the question….Mom? Or maybe it is more like MMMOOOMMMM? as they are yelling across the house at me.
I know, just 3 little letters and yet such a powerful question. I used to get a bit aggravated by this question after the 157th time it was asked. I could feel my blood pressure rise and my heartbeat quicken. I could feel the scowl take over my usually happy face and I sometimes I would snap…..WHAT?!?! Even if I was calm and it wasn’t on my last good nerve, What? is what would always come out of my mouth.

Over the last 2 months I see how much my behavior and stress effects my kids. I can see that when I answer with this 4 letter word, they would sometimes wonder if they had done something wrong. It was probably my tone, or the look on my face but I did NOT, do NOT want my kids to be afraid to ask me anything….ever.

So recently I have changed my answer to “Yes?” I catch myself a lot, pausing before I respond to the “Mom?” question. But I am trying, hard, and it seems to be working. Since I am more relaxed, the kids seem more relaxed. I don’t go into the conversation my kids want to have, whether it is just a quick question or a long, drawn out story with a tense feeling of “What do you want now?” but rather the thought “What is it that you need and I can do for you. What you wonder or want to say is important and deserves my attention” This is not to say that I am here to serve my children. But I do believe that they deserve to have an environment that is as positive and builds as much self-assurance as possible. Do I slip and spout of the occasional “WHAT?” Of course! But those are less and less frequent and the “Yes?” response is becoming more and more natural

So I am just curious, how do you respond this this question when you get is 322 times each day?

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