We all get into the habit of telling our kids what to do as toddlers. Of course, we tend to micromanage toddlers to make sure they remain safe and stay out of trouble. We show our children right from wrong. Teaching them words. When they start talking, we need to start listening.
Kids talking can look as it no big deal. Especially young kids. As they ramble on about toys, pictures, their favorite shows.
When kids are little parents need to listen to what seems to be “little problems” so they feel comfortable coming to you about their “big problems” as they get older.
The toy they love playing with at school or Tabby the friend. Becomes “Jill asked me if I wanted to share a beer” or “Jake told me only sex shows that I love him”.
Little conversations become these big conversations. Let us put our opinions aside and let our child fully express themselves in a safe place with us as moms.
“Really listening to your children is the best way to create a caring relationship in which they see you as being “in their corner” and as a base to which they can always return when they need support. Having this secure relationship is one of the strongest factors in helping your children to become resilient, responsible, and caring people who are open to your love and your guidance.” stated in Center for Parenting Education.
Focus only on your child by eliminating distractions when your kids are trying to talk to you. Life is hectic and fast pace most of the time. Yet when you feel your child is distressed, sit down, and listen. Eliminate internal listening and start listening to understand. All your focus is turned to your child talking. You are no longer distracted by your own thoughts or outside distractions. This takes practice. You are listening to understand your child’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We can even start to global listening to what is NOT being said as we watch body language and expressions. Using global listening will help you understand your child at a deeper level.
You are listening to their feelings from excitement to sadness.
Incorporate Active Listening
Learn verbal listening
-Use non obstructive signals that you are listening
Example: yes, OK, I see.
-Reflecting your child’s words, thoughts and feeling back to them.
Examples, “you sound… (as you had a great day)” or “you say… (you are sad?)”
-Respond with affirmations will increase self esteem and show you are listening.
Examples, “seems you had fun at school” or “sounds like you are improving”.
-Ask relevant questions
Ask you kids questions after their complete thought so they can explore their emotions.
Example, “you mentioned earlier you have a new friend, what is their name?”
Easy nonverbal tips
-positive facial expression, and
-Body language goes a long way to show you are listening. Such as leaning toward your child and keeping arms open.
You will be able to recognize underlying issues that maybe happening.
Allow Silence – A Powerful Parenting Skill
With life in fast pace. When we ask our kids a question, allow silence. Allow them to think. Allow them to process the question. Use your global listening to watch their body language. Once your child is done talking wait a couple seconds to make sure their thought is finished. As you give this freedom to your child with no interruptions you are forming a strong relationship of communication.
We are in a nonstop society right now. Sometimes it is even hard for us adults to slow down let alone a child.
We are preparing our children for this fast, competitive, more is better world. Take a moment. By you listening, you are teaching your child to listen. When you order your child around, you are teaching them to order others around. Stop and think. Do you catch your kids saying something you don’t like yet realize you say it to them? I know I do. I know I will never be perfect. My goal is not perfection. My goal is to build self-awareness to live my life within balance. Balance life comes from the view of the beholder. Do you feel you have lost your mojo? Or flow? Get back in the Zone! Read HERE.
About The Author
Kelly Hater, owner of Mama Bear Domain, has over 15 years of coaching experience along with a B.S. in Health Promotion specialized in Exercise Science.
She specializes in helping clients overcome mom burnout, providing a clear, decisive plan that leads her clients on a path of success. Her clients no longer let mom guilt steal their identity and goals. Moms deserve to be happy and live a fulfilling life. She personally has overcome overwhelming struggles herself. Get the accountability needed to take action. As a mom of two she gets it. Get your E-Book Mom, Open Your Eyes to Self-Awareness.