Listen – Part 2: What Did You Say?

Nov 15, 2012 by


If you didn’t catch Part 1, read that blog post before proceeding…..

Done? Okay.

With some small children, getting them to talk has never been a problem. In fact, if you have that child, you are frantically searching for the blog on shutting your kid up. It seems like they will never be quiet. You all know those kids – or may have them.

In fact, I sat near one at a restaurant last week. He was an adorable 4-year-old that just wanted to have daddy’s complete attention and tell him everything under the sun – more than a couple of times. Dad patiently let him prattle on about whatever came into his mind and added an occasional response to his monologue. It was very sweet, and I’m sure that young dad had only a vague idea of the precious moment he was experiencing.

But with our more reserved children, what do we do once we’ve figured out how to get our child talking? This can be a huge dilemma for some parents. Too often we are not equipped to listen to our children. For years and years when they were little, we were doing most of the talking. Now, they are forming their own thoughts and opinions – sometimes contradictory to ours. What do we do with that?

You be quiet and listen.

So many things about your child can be learned from simply listening:

  • Their dreams
  • Their fears
  • Their philosophy – yes, even young ones can start having a life philosophy
  • Their values
  • Their view of God
  • Their view of you
  • Their view of themselves
  • Who their friends are and what influence they are having on your child

If they stop talking, say, “What else?”  or “How would you handle that?” or “Why do you think that is?” or some other appropriate question that will encourage them to go even deeper into their thinking.

By giving a respectful ear to our children and keeping our mouths closed, we can gain so much more insight into these precious gifts we are raising. It takes practice to do this well. But by truly listening you will learn how to be a better parent to that special little person in your home.

What insights have you gained from listening to your child? What is your greatest challenge in being a good listener?


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