One of the most important things we do as humans, but sometimes forget to do is LISTEN!!! It is an amazing gift and trait that will help you in so many situations throughout life. The true capability to listen, to truly listen, is something that we all take for granted. We can all listen but forget at times what it means to be a ‘good’ listener. To fully focus without distractions. To listen without your phone in your hand, your Ipad open or TV on. To give your complete self to the person you are listening to, will take you places you didn’t realize were possible.
Being a parent we are constantly multi-tasking and trying to get a million things done all at once. Unfortunately, this is just life. It’s the way of the world and sadly there just aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything without a bit of multi-tasking. I am guilty of this in the 3rd degree. On a regular day I’m running the household, baking, cooking, parenting, running kids around, working with clients and squeezing in some hobbies and date nights! It’s not easy trying to wear so many hats being just one person, but by doing a few things, such as listening, it may just save you.
Often our kids feel like they are rushed from activity to activity and never really have the time to be heard. You have quick conversations at red lights or while you cook dinner. You hear tidbits of what they are really trying to say. Its’ the accumulation of these small, half-finished conversations that your child becomes frustrated and unheard. There are a few things you can do to help make your child feel that what they have to say is important and to help you focus on truly listening. Pick certain times of the day where you put your phone away. Give them eye contact and ask questions that help promote deeper and more thorough conversations. Be engaged in what they have to say by questioning and commenting. One way I do this is by setting a routine during our dinner time. My husband works all the time and is not home for the boys’ dinner or bed time. This makes them need me even more. Each night while the boys eat I sit down with them. We sit at the table without TV, phones, or any distractions. It is a time for us to connect with one another. A time when what they have to say they know will be heard. A time where they feel important and are so excited to chat about their day. We have established our dinner time 3 question round robin. Each boy gets his chance to speak and answer the questions while the other, and myself, practice good listening skills. No interruptions and giving 100% of our attention. The questions we discuss are:
- What was the best part of your day?
- What was one thing you learned today?
- Was there anything that happened today that made you feel worried, sad, concerned or that you didn’t like?
By asking these 3 simple questions I gather so much information about my kids and the type of day they had. By questioning and digging deeper it helps us to all stay connected. It brings the boys closer and they learn from one another. It also creates a very calm meal time which helps us focus on proper table manners and eating habits. Give full focus listening a try. It’s not always easy and something we have to make time for. But, if you do it, I promise you will notice multiple positive changes in your household and relationships with your children! Thank you for reading and listening! See…you can do it!
Please subscribe below and receive my latest articles sent directly to your inbox!