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Listening to our children

September 22nd, 2010

Ask around and children will tell you, “My parents don’t listen to me.”

And they’re probably right. We listen, but we don’t really listen.

As much as we love our children, we as parents don’t listen to them as we ought. We take for granted that we already know our children without having to really listen to them.

* We know our children so well, we’ve known them before they were born, we already know what they’ll say before they say it, so we don’t listen to what they have to say.

“Mom, can I have -“ “No, you can’t get on the computer.” “But, I only want to – “ “I know what you want, and the answer is no.”

* We know what our children ought to do or ought to be, so we don’t have to listen to what they want.

“I want to be a fireman.” “It’s too dangerous. Be an accountant.”  “But – “ “Ok, you can be a teacher.”

* We know better than our children, so we don’t have to really listen to their opinions.

“Vegetables are good for you.”  “But I hate spinach.” ” Just eat your vegetables!”

Can you relate? Think about it. If our spouses or friends talk to us like that, how would you feel?

How can we be better listeners?

1. Give your children your focus and attention by looking them in the eye.

2. Intentionally keep your mouth shut when your child is talking to you, no matter how much you think you already know what he’s going to say.

3. Take some deep breaths and listen carefully without a word.

4. Ask some question before giving an answer.

5. Show him the respect and courtesy as you would a friend.

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