Parents, are we really listening?
If you have a chatty kid like me, chances are that he/she wants to talk to you all the time.
However, there is often a huge difference between pretending to listen and putting in the effort to make sense of what is being shared.
Listening is an important communication tool for us as parents and whether we do so or not directly shape the kind of relationship we have with our children.
But why aren’t we listening?
The first answer that comes to our minds is that we are simply too busy to listen. We ourselves are, after all, being bombarded by huge volumes of information in this age of media connectivity. There are always new messages to read, breaking news to follow or work to do.
However, be that as it may, the often-overlooked reason is simply that we underestimate the problems that modern children face and thus think that they are undeserving of our full attention. We often assume that our children go through the same problems that we did when we were kids ourselves.
As a result, we subconsciously stop paying attention prematurely, choosing to fill in information gaps using our own personal experiences instead of clarifying doubts straight from the horse’s mouth. The matter of fact is, in this digital environment, the difference between our experiences and theirs could be huge.
And when we don’t listen….
We as parents may rush in to give advice without putting in enough thought towards the complexities of the problems children face. We give bad advice that are inapplicable, miss out on crucial signs of distress and any opportunities that we may have to guide them through problems with the proper thinking process.
The worst outcome is that our child may stop sharing information if they feel that we are underestimating them.
And when we do listen....
We get proper insights to give the right response and make sure our kids receive adequate help to their problems. We can identify warning signals of distress. It teaches them how to use listening skills to analyze problems logically to solve problems.
Most importantly, we show our kids that they are important for us to listen to carefully and teach them how they can likewise show respect to other people through listening.
We will share with you some techniques on how to listen to your child in a separate post. Stay tuned.
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All the best to you on your parenting journey