Tuned in and zoned out

My youngest daughter is one focused Little Mouse.

I have seen her remove herself from a situation she doesn’t want to be in and play alone, or read a book or play with Lego. I love watching her, because when she does something, she does it 100%. She will even stick her tongue out, as if it helps to achieve the task at hand; whether it’s colouring, playing with Barbies or doing a puzzle.

I think there are still adults that do that, and I’ve seen countless photos of athletes with their tongues hanging out the side of their mouth while in play.

It’s cute.

What’s not cute is when we try to get her attention while she is watching TV. That is impossible.


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Yes, we are a family who has the television on during dinner sometimes, and even when it’s not on, the talk around the table goes like this:

Me: How was daycare [Little Mouse]

Little Mouse: Good

Me: What did you do today?

Little Mouse: Nothing




Me: How was school [Little Bird]

Little Bird: Good

Me: Tell me something fun you did today?

Little Bird: Nothing


So I give up. For now.

What I won’t give up is trying to ask her to pay attention while she eats, take another bite or wipe her face. But trying to get her attentions, especially if the Bubble Guppies is on, is near impossible. So I will continue to poke her, wave my hand in front of her face and call her name.

Here’s to hoping that she has this much focus when it comes to Grade 10 math or Grade 11 Biology.

2 responses to “Tuned in and zoned out”

  1. I have twins (9yo) and learned to phrase my questions about their day so they couldn’t be answered with one word. Try this…

    “What 3 things were fun at school today?”

    “What was your least favorite part of school today?”

    “Tell me about what you did at recess?”

    You get the idea. I’ve found that if I ask very specific questions about things, even as mundane as what other kids had for lunch that day, it can sometimes open the door to a fun conversation about school. Though, sometimes they don’t want to tell me anything at all.

    Hint: They LOVE telling me about the bad stuff, like kids getting in trouble, which can open a nice chat about how they should/shouldn’t act during school. Plus, sometimes hearing about this stuff is hilarious and I have to try to be a grown-up and not crack up 🙂

    Christi Corbett


    • Thanks Christi! I’m going to try that. I try not to ask yes/no questions, but I’m going to be more direct and ask about lunches and recess and the “bad” stuff. Although you’re right, she usually comes out to talk about those things freely! 🙂


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