Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lip Smacking Good

I need some advice.

As some of my long time readers know, I believe in teaching my children manners, and I expect them to use what they have been taught. I do take into account that their disabilities may impact their use of manners sometimes, but most of the time I have found that my children with disabilities can use proper manners just as effectively as my children without disabilities.

But, I’m having a tough time teaching Ronnie one thing in particular. He makes a lot of noise when he eats.

I’ve always taught my children to chew with their mouths closed. I don’t think it is appropriate to make a lot of lip smacking noises when eating. And before you lecture me on how that is a quite acceptable practice in other countries, I remind you that we don’t live in those countries, and it is unlikely we will ever visit there. If we do, I will let my children make as many mouth noises as they like.

But in the meantime, I really, really don’t like the sound of someone chewing with their mouth open.

Here’s the rub. Ronnie can’t hear the noises that he makes since he is deaf. Every time I remind him to chew with his mouth closed, he looks at me like I have four eyes. I tell him that he is making lots of noise with his mouth, and he looks at me like those four eyes have turned to six.

I know that eventually he will catch on, but eventually could take a long time like it did with my now 18 year old son, Corey. I’m looking for a quicker fix though.

So, if you have any ideas or techniques, please share!

(p.s. And I know there are a lot worse problems in the world than making noises while one eats, but today, this is the issue I chose to discuss – you know, that whole ‘this is my blog’ thing….)


Deana said...

Not at all a silly request. You are teaching Ronnie everything else about being the best he can be, why not this too?

Did you say he has a girlfriend? The world over, boys do things their girlfriends ask of them. Maybe a bringing her into the request?

Is it merely the sound that is bothersome? Maybe you could video him eating and show him what it looks like.

Just throwing out ideas, not really knowing how he would take either of those.

Best of luck with it!

Adelaide Dupont said...

What about eating in front of a mirror so that he can see and feel what his mouth is doing?

Esbee said...

My rec: what I did for my now-12 year old a few years back. I had him eat by himself in front of a tabletop mirror a few times. When he realized how gross it looked, he quickly stopped. He also got better about using his napkin. :)

Esbee said...

A few years ago I had my now-12 year old eat by himself in front of a tabletop mirror (dollar store) a few times. He realized how gross it looked and self-corrected. He also started using his napkin more frequently.

Pizza works especially well. Ditto spaghetti. :)

Ashley's Mom said...

Thanks everyone! The girlfriend and the mirror are great ideas!

KittyDobson said...

ear plugs. Why you ask? because it makes a loop of the inner vibarations and he'll be able to feel/hear them internally more than normal!!