Give Your Kids the Gift of Really Hearing & Understanding (It's So Worth It)! by Cynthia Miller
We all want to be really listened to – as in actually heard and understood. It's fundamental to human nature, so of course it's vastly important to children as well. It's just a lot harder to express yourself if you're a kid! I'm working hard on listening to my kids, as in what they are really saying, not simply hearing the words they're using.
- When my daughter says, "You never spend as much time with me," she actually means: "Right now my sister is getting attention, and I'm feeling worried you love her more. I need reassurance. A hug would probably do it."
- When a child says, "Mom you never understand!" she doesn't really mean I never understand. She means, "I feel so frustrated right now because I am feeling disconnected when you aren't understanding me, and it makes me scared and lonely and want to cry. I need you to look me in the eyes and focus on me."
These examples sound almost silly, they seem so obvious. But how many times have you wound up in a conversation or argument with a child who makes one of these statements? Yes, let me count the times. It takes practice to really hear your kids, but it's so worth it.