I often ask myself, do my children feel heard? If you ask me the answer is yes, but I recently received an awakening.
So, thinking about this prompted me to ask my two oldest a question. I asked them what I can work on to continue building a strong and trusting relationship with them. My ten-year-old immediately yelled out, “You can listen more!”. Honestly, I was shocked in what he had said. I guess I should take a lesson in being more resilient because that one stung! I had no idea he felt that way, I truly thought I listened well.
What I found out in our conversation is that I was passively listening to them or shoving my beliefs down their throat instead of getting their viewpoints and coming to an understanding of why they feel the way they do. It was tough having the conversation. As their parent, I felt I shouldn’t have to be corrected, when in fact they have their own personalities and feelings too. Another thing that helped me put things into perspective was this article I found- Tips on listening to your child.
I have these talks with them daily after school because I not only want to know how they feel, but I need to know. I thought I was listening to them and being sure that I heard them, but what I realized is that I wasn’t Actively listening. One thing that stood out in the article that I read was, “If you want your child to listen to you, you’ll need to first listen to them”. It resonated with me because children do what we show them not what we tell them, so if we are telling them to listen we, in turn, need to let them be heard too.
Link to article