I read someone’s blog post recently about listening to our kids. This wasn’t a guilt post that made me question whether I was listening to my child enough.
Nope, it actually encouraged me in all my normal, inconsistent mama humanness.
She wrote: there are different levels of listening.
So, how do you listen to your homeschool kids?
So, I was listening to my homeschool kids…
I overheard one of my children say, “I think that kids should get a pension — they’re not allowed to have a job, but they need money. Old people just die anyway.”
I didn’t catch her statement at first.
Too much was going on in the minivan as we were driving to town.
Then it hit me: Say whaaa? Pensions for children?
Good thing we weren’t in public–the tiny village where we live is a retirement destination.
- Sometimes we parents multitask while our children are telling us about their Star Wars dream for the fourth day in a row.
- Sometimes we mostly tune them out but smile widely when we know that a smile is what they’re really after. (If a non-parent is reading this, you might think me heartless. If you’re a parent of a brood that spans toddler to teens, you are likely nodding along).
- Get enough voices in the room and one subconsciously tunes out whether one knows one should or shouldn’t.
But there are many times we must wholeheartedly listen.
Sometimes we need to listen closely, pay attention to the subtext of their conversational focus — especially when they get older and their willingness to talk is hit or miss.
Boy, do we need to pay attention then.
The subtext doesn’t always get unpacked for us, so we need to determine how to unpack it — so listen closely.
Learning someone’s new language can be difficult, especially someone who doesn’t necessarily want you to learn their language.
When one of our children routinely uses loud voices and an expressive tone to lay out her case against another sibling, I instinctively want to shut her down. The whiny tone does much to annoy. But I’ve learned that this is her baseline expressiveness, not a sign of her guilt or innocence. I need to listen to the content of what’s being said. Often there is a reason she’s coming to me as she’s feeling impotent in responding and won’t be heard by her sibling.
So many opportunities to listen!
There are definitely moments we need to selectively listen to our kiddos, and more often there are moments when we need to listen hard.
We all want to know and be known by the important people in our lives. To really hear what someone is saying, or not saying, we gotta listen.
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Great topic! I’m working on focusing on my kids more when they talk to me. I always think of the saying that if we pay attention to our kids when they share the small stuff, they’ll be comfortable enough to come to us with the big stuff.
That is true. There’s no magical overnight change for kids…just a gradual independence at adolescence. Having said that, sometimes it is just exhausting being fully present for all the kids all the time–moms have needs too, extroverted or introverted, so sometimes I just smile…
And sometimes just listening to them is just plain hilariously entertaining!
Once my then-8-year old son told me out of the blue that he thought motorcycles were romantic because the girl rides in back and holds onto the guy!
Indeed, Top Gun romantic!
Great post! They do have so many interesting and important things to say, and hilarious ones, too!
They sure do!
I’m definitely guilty of the tuned out variety of listening. My only excuse is that my girls talk all. day. long.
It does take a lot of effort to listen more actively.
Me too. However I wont choose to feel guilty about. Well if I’m not doing it all the time. They have to be heard, but depends on the circumstance right?