Oh the Irony! Three little letters that spin a lot of heads and weigh heavily on the hearts. We still don't care what it's called or who's got it or when. We want to get along and thrive. Always the same goals and many of the same ideas.
Words are communication, entertainment and just plain necessary. But consider taking a re-read on them. We know that poor word choice has it's downfalls, but insightful use of language can move things along with less frustration or head scratching.
Routinely or just occasionally, we assume words are obvious in their meaning. Not always the case.
Take the word "ignore". You tell your 2nd grader to ignore the classmate who's highly distracting or just plain awful. Also known as the "Don't Listen to it" speech. But that's impossible, as your children might point out. They are right.
Try inserting actions to go with the word. Even adults can chew on this:
- Ignore = don't look & don't answer.
- Stop Crying = count 10 (or 50, or whatever) & start over.
- Settle Down = lower voice & go elsewhere.
- Find it = think back & look twice.
Only the tip of the iceberg. Anything you find yourself repeating might make more sense with actions associated with it...
The last one is yours: "Pay attention!" Now there's the rub. What does it mean? "Understand me!"? By attaching actions to the word, a youngin' will at least be able to go through the motions, which is valuable even without complete comprehension.
Shake up your imagination and search for action words to clarify just what the heck 'paying attention' is. We can work with this one!
Share your ideas by commenting! And as always, email@example.com. We're all part of the resolution!