Listening is my thought for the week(TFTW). Let’s talk about listening. How many times a day do you utter the phrase “listen!”. Its wildly infuriating when you’re trying to get out the door, get ready for bed or let face accomplish anything at all and your kids just aren’t listening. Now Let me ask you this: Do you listen to them? Let’s face it our job as parents is to lead by example. So often though we demand our kids act in a way that we ourselves don’t.
For example, when they are having a melt down how often do, we respond with a melt down of our own? SO why should listening be any different. I think the key to listening is asking questions. Questions are a great way to understand what someone is trying to tell us. We should listen with the intent of really trying to understand. All too often we use the time someone is speaking just to think of what we will say next.
So, imagine you’ve had a lousy day. That guy you hate at work was getting under your skin, the boss is on your case, or maybe your project fell through. You’ve had a bad day. Now imagine you went home to tell your significant other about your day and they responded with: “You’re fine!”, or “don’t worry about it.” How much do you think they really care? Do you feel like they were listening if that’s how they were to respond? Would you ever confide in them again?
Well that’s how our kids feel constantly when we diminish their problems. Think of a time when you were a kid and something important to you was met with “you’re fine.” Or “don’t worry about it.” A lost toy or popped balloon is not the same as a bad day at work……but it is to them. So, my challenge for you dad is really listen. Ask them questions about what ever is going on. “How did that feel?” “What did you do next?” Your kid knows that the most powerful question in the world if “why” so take a cue from them and ask them “why” in a sincere way.
I think so often we create confusion for our kids because we demand them to do things we are not doing ourselves. If we want them to listen, we should model listening skills. Questions are a great way to do that. Show them with your body language that your listening as well. Eye contact and nodding are all great signs you’re listening
Now will this change the way your kids interact with you over night? Absolutely not. Will it show them dad cares what’s going on in their life? Absolutely! Will they feel like they can trust you and come to you for help and advice? I sure hope so.
especially at this unprecedented time ask your kids how they feel, or what they understand about the pandemic. We are feeling stressed lets help them navigate their feelings as well.
This all boils down to treat people the way you want to be treated……we insist this of our kids, we should be held accountable as well. Listening is no exception.