Giving the stink eye is a long standing tradition in our family. My mother could stop us dead in our tracks with a single look – in a crowded store, as we were leaving the park, when we showed our rear ends at a family gathering – one look from her and poof. Problem eliminated.
Or it was if you were smart. Being given more than one stink eye was a sure ticket to an unpleasant evening.
Don’t know if this skill runs in the DNA, but Bee’s got a pretty wicked stink eye herself. I watched her handle my nieces through their toddler and early elementary years and woo hoo, talking about handling business. I’ve seen Bee communicate an entire sentence through a piercing look and raised eyebrows.
I am my mama’s daughter so I, too, perfected my stink eye long ago. Way before we had kids I was teaching, and few things are quite as handy as a what-in-the-hell-do-you-think-you’re-DOING look to give when a student’s acting up across the room. Large assemblies, where the kid metaphorically flipping the bird is always in the middle of the row, practically require the ability to shoot a stink eye halfway across a gymnasium.
Giving my own kids the stink eye has been a highly valuable tool in behavior management. I mean, come on…sometimes it just isn’t possible to yank a knot in them like you need to, yet you’ve got to end their drama post haste. Nonverbal communication is key to solving a number of sticky situations without escalating things to a volcanic meltdown in the middle of Target.
I think about those brand new parents sometimes, and how they’re pouring through their copies of What to Expect When You’re Expecting (just like I did). You learn a lot of valuable things in there – what qualifies as a freak out temperature, developmental milestones, how to handle a new baby coming home. I had a well worn copy on my own bookshelves.
But new parents would benefit greatly from some real world parenting skill instruction, too, and the stink eye would be at the top of that list. For parents of young children, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Visit Linda’s blog to check out her weekly stream of consciousness post. This week’s prompt is “give/given/giving.” Use one as the first word in your post. Bonus points for ending with one as well!