Breaking the ‘Look Mummy’ Habit

Breaking the Look Mummy habit - An Everyday Story‘Look Mummy. Look. Look. Look look look.’

I was in the kitchen while he stood in the hallway… ‘Look Mummy.’ ‘Look’.

And so it went on like this everyday; several times a day. Several times an hour actually. Finally, after having my thought process interrupted one too many times, I snapped back at him, No more looks! I am not going to look anymore!

Jack stood in the hallway staring sadly at me, ‘I just wanted to show you this drawing.’


Now don’t get me wrong, I love that Jack and Sarah want to show me their work, or something interesting they have stumbled upon. I love that they want to share these things with me. But the constant look Mummy, well it was driving me more than a little crazy!

After thinking about it some more I decided to try a new approach. I knew they wanted to share something with me but they weren’t talking to me. They were simply saying look and often times from another room in the house.

I wanted Jack and Sarah to know that I was genuinely interested in what they wanted to show me but I needed to show them how to do it. No more look Mummy.

So our conversation went a little like this:

Jack (5.75 yrs) from the hallway or yelling from his room: “Mummy look!”

Me: “Will you come here please and tell me about it?”

Jack, walking to me: “Look”

Me: “Tell me about what you would like to share with me.”

Jack: “I drew this cool picture and…..”

The look Mummy habit was proving a hard one to break but over the last few weeks both Jack and Sarah (3.75 yrs) have started to communicate what it is they want to share with me.

And I am finding too, after not being told to look a thousand times a day, that I am more patient when they come to me.

This morning Jack says to me:

(walking up to me and standing next to me) “Mummy I built this really cool Zoob person in the playroom, would you like to come and see it?”

“Yes. I would love to.” “Thank you for coming and telling me about it.”

Ahh it was like heaven to my ears! Just a few weeks ago he would have yelled from the playroom, ‘look Mummy’. I would have had no idea what he wanted me to look at and probably would have been a little annoyed that he shouted to me from another room.

Now, after a lot of encouragement to come to me and explain what they want to show me, Jack and Sarah are starting to break the look Mummy habit.


12 Replies to “Breaking the ‘Look Mummy’ Habit”

  1. Ah, yes… the ‘look mummy!’ Drives us all insane! I’ve been doing a similar thing with my miss. nearly 5 and it’s been working beautifully. Thanks for the reminder. Because, it really is interesting to me to see what they’ve been up to, just annoying when they yell across the house right when I’m in the middle of wiping the little one’s butt or something 😉

  2. Becka Coates says:

    This is so beautiful. I LOVE how you are always able to find respectful and gentle solutions to some of the issues that we Mummies face each and every day. Reading your blog and your Facebook page is like a tonic for my soul! Thank you Kate for wonderfully being you and elevating Mothering to this beautiful and wonderful place. x

  3. This drives me mad too, I had not thought about ‘changing’ it! My children are older but I am going to give this a go………thank you 🙂

  4. We do the same thing! I find the “Look mummy” and “Watch this mummy” very grating, and it becomes a habit for my son to say it without really thinking about what he wants from me. It is much more rewarding for both of us when he comes and tells me exactly what he wants me to see and why he is proud of it/interested in it/excited by it.

  5. Melissa Kate says:


  6. Ah, brilliant. Thanks!

  7. I love this! Really develops their communication and descriptive skills, as well as teaching them a little patience. Well done! My son isn’t quite old enough for this, but I will definitely be working towards it.

  8. Barbara Flanagan says:

    Brilliant idea, might work on husbands too!

  9. I adore this. I recently started trying a similar approach and it’s life changing. Sometimes the best ideas are teh simplest!

  10. Such a perfectly timed and beautiful post. A lovely and respectful way of approaching something that’s been driving me crazy too 🙂 Thank you!

  11. I have tried this so many times, without success. My daughter just gets whiney and says she can’t possibly explain it. Then half the time it dissolves into us arguing between the rooms. I try not to argue, but by that time I’m frustrated and not thinking well anymore. I don’t know which is worse. 😛

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