Clap For Myself

From the 2012 book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk:

Five minutes after the mother left, it became obvious that little Jonathan needed to head for the bathroom. When the teacher urged him to go, he mumbled unhappily, “Can’t.”
She asked, “Why not?”
“’Cause my Mommy isn’t here,” Jonathan explained. “She claps for me when I finish.”
The teacher thought for a moment. “Jonathan, you can go to the bathroom and then clap for yourself.”
Jonathan looked wide-eyed.
The teacher led him to the bathroom and waited. After a few minutes, from behind the closed door she heard the sound of applause.
Later that day the mother called her to say that the first words out of Jonathan’s mouth when he came home were “Mommy, I can clap for myself. I don’t need you anymore!”
“Would you believe it,” the teacher exclaimed to me, “The mother said she was actually depressed about this.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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