Rafed English

Intruct the Child Once Only for Better

Attention & Compliance

Many years ago a father, accompanied by his son, visited me for a professional advice. He introduced himself as a landlord. The son appeared to be in his late twenties.

On the conclusion of a satisfactory consultation. the father turned directly to the son and instructed him what to do in the matter. The father chose to give the instruction in my presence perhaps to ensure that it was correctly articulated as discussed.

However, as if the articulation was not assuring enough and the time already taken was not long enough. the father repeated the instruction. This time he repeated also some words, the planned timing, and the names and places concerned in the con- tents of the instruction over and over again much to my concealed disgust and to the visible boredom of the son.

Now! I got the clue why the son was not so attentive to the instruction at the first " time. It was obviously because he was well trained since childhood to wait for a repetition of every instruction given.

And yet one more clue! The father had also kept on repeating to me his questions to prompt me into repeating my answers during the discussion. It was obvious that he too was made a victim of this family-trait in his childhood and he was dutifully pass- Mental Hazard The indications were that the repetition of the instruction in my office was not going to be last one from the father to the son.

The full sympathy is for the wife, the work-subordinates or the employees and the house-servants of such a person, because this type of a chain of onslaught of boredom can be a mental hazard and therefore, a cause for parting ways!

With the complexities of the present life as we know of. let us be conscious of the dictum that: "Time has become a precious commodity; making and retaining friends an art and to be counted as being among the per- sons with a polished or refined personality a challenge." Nothing is more un-nerving than listening to a same piece of information, advice or instruction repetitively at the same moment. It goes against the dictum.

For any errand or assignment, have the habit of saying your instruction once only to the child and surprise yourself with the results. Your instruction wins his sharp attention and a secured place in his memory for a perfect compliance -because it was said once, as always! He too will adopt and pass on this polished culture down in the family.

Another Dimension

However, there is also another dimension to this unpleasant weakness. The child who has been made habituated to responding only after a repeated instruction is likely to grow up as an adult with yet a greater weakness. While he would show immediate willingness to do a favour upon a request, he would act only after the request has been repeated even if the favour was small or simple. There are those amongst us who express a request only once for a favour. Repeating the request is avoided because it amounts to begging.

A person makes an inconsiderate spouse in the family; also an unkind son or a daughter to the aged parents if the person habitually needs a repetition of almost every small request before he would remember to oblige. Often the repetition awaited never appears and the request drifts from the memory as if it never existed. The favour is deemed to have been denied when the intention was not so.

Adapted from the book: "Child" by: "Mohamed A. Khalfan"

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