What do you have your children say when they don’t hear you? Is this something regional? In the south, children are taught to say “Ma’am?” or “Sir?” when something needs to be repeated or clarified. Other people say “Pardon?” or “Excuse me?” As a child, I always felt silly saying “Pardon?” like other people, because it sounded funny to my ears.
“Huh” is starting to become common in our house, and it sounds quite unpleasant. Thankfully, it’s an improvement from ignoring mom or not paying attention at all, so I’m not displeased entirely.
I ask Natalie to say “What did you say?” to avoid the habitual “What?” she was getting into just because she wasn’t paying attention.
I like those ideas. Part of the difficulty is that I say “huh” more than I should. Nicole, I like your thought that the right response is driven by an attentive answer (not simply the right words to say). I think any response can be annoying if it is thoughtless. Good thoughts!
We’ve only lived in CA, so the Southern-sounding responses are foreign to us. 😉 We usually use, “Excuse me?” or, “Could you please repeat that?” The “huh?” stuff can drive me nuts!
I think I’d say “sorry what was that?” Probably “huh?” comes out a lot too!
Diane Heeney says
I had a friend from Syria who would reply, “I’m sorry?” or simply, “Sorry?” It just stuck. 🙂