The Art of good listening is to hear the heart felt cries of our children and not minimize their feelings or solve their problems.
I want my children to be able to say. “Mom knows me best because she hears what I have to say. She allows me to have feelings and therefore I trust her.”
My kids go to Moppets. It’s a program for Mothers of Preschoolers.
One day after Moppets I asked my daughter, “Kaylee did you make friends today and have fun playing?”
Her big blue eyes became saddened. Looking discouraged she quietly said, “Not so good.”
My heart dropped like a heavy bowling ball that suddenly crashes to the ground.
One of the girls in her class commanded her to stop following her. Kaylee was hurt and felt rejected. She believed that no one liked her.
I wanted to convince Kaylee that this was not so. But I chose to listen and not fix. I was tempted to tell her that she was being too dramatic. Instead I validated her.
“I’m so sorry and how disappointing.” “It must have hurt your feelings when she walked away from you.”
Tears filled my little girl’s eyes and she started to sob. I stayed with her in that moment. A pain in my gut overwhelmed me with anguish and I wanted to defend her. Instead I let her cry as I reached out to her in love.
Kaylee has a deep internal hunger to be seen, heard, and desired. She loves to make people laugh and she enjoys drawing attention to herself. I understand where she is coming from because there is some of that in me too.
As an adult I want to be appreciated, valued, and pursued.
And don’t we all ladies?
Our kids do.
Following are some ideas for listening. I am work in progress and have not arrived.
- Listen without fixing
- Give your full attention to them
- Affirm without minimizing raw emotions
- It’s ok to not be happy
- It’s ok to disagree.
Now it is your turn to comment and add to this list.