I have had a spate of ‘funnies’ with the kids lately and it just reminded me to actually listen to my kids… here are a few. I hope you get a little giggle out of them. Enjoy!
The other day, Jason had a make up class for drama that had been cancelled the previous week. As he was getting ready that morning, I said, “Jason, don’t forget you have a make-up class for drama today,” and without missing a beat, he said “That’s why it sucks being the only boy in the class mom. I have to do makeup!” 🙂
Today at lunch, Nic saw a lady with a heart shaped eye-patch… and he said “Hey matey… hearty heart heart”… with a big grin on his face, of course.
On Mandela day, a few weeks back, the kids made sandwiches and put them in Ziploc bags to give to homeless people on the way home. Nic forgot them at home when we went out later, and saw a homeless guy with a sign, and said “Aw! Mommy! I could have given the sandwich to that man!!” to which Jason replied, “No you couldn’t have, Nic. His sign says ‘NO FOOD’.” We all laughed, but Jason honestly took his sign literally and didn’t have a clue that what he had just said was hilarious.
At supper the other night, the boys were talking about war and how ‘cool’ it must be. So we explained to them how awful it actually is and Concentration Camps came up. I told them about my visit to one in Germany called Dachau, and how sombre and sad it was. They asked a bunch of questions and then right at the end, Daniel piped up with “But I don’t get it… what did the cow do?”
Kids really do say the darnedest things sometimes, don’t they? And yet… so often I am sad to see families out to dinner where the parents are on their iPhones/ Blackberries, and the kids are on their DS’s or PSPs… and no one is communicating or listening. It really saddens me.
One of the biggest complaints I get from parents of younger children is “My kids don’t listen!” and parents of older children whine “My kids don’t talk to me!”
But it is reciprocal. Often it’s the parents who aren’t doing the listening. So why would there be communication. And in today’s world, people are so attached to their phones/ computers/ games/ iPads that they are constantly turned on to work/ the world, but switched off to their kids.
How often are you driving your kids around, and you go for ages while your kids tell you a story, and then all of a sudden you realise you haven’t heard a word they have said? This happens all the time. You ask how school was, but when they do tell you – if you don’t get the usual “Fine” – you somehow zone out and think about the million other things you need to do and by the time they stop talking you have missed everything they said.
Stop. Look. Listen.
Your kids will grow up soon enough and you will miss this window of opportunity to get them talking to you. And the most important part of that is that when they are little and they do tell you little things, and they know you are listening… they will be in the habit of telling you things. And for them, the little things are the big things. Later on in life, they will be so used to talking to you that they will still tell you the ‘big things’ and as they get older those are the things you will want to know about. So make it a habit. Stop. Look. Listen to what they have to say now so that it becomes a lifelong habit and those communication lines become solid and strong!
My oldest son is currently learning about puberty in LO class. He has told me all about it and asked some pretty hectic questions, but when I sit on the sidelines at sports games, and chat to the other moms, I am so grateful. A lot of the moms don’t know anything about what is being said because their kids aren’t talking to them about it. I am so glad that our lines of communication are wide open and he isn’t afraid to talk to me. Thank you RCB… without me doing this course I would probably be one of the moms who was in the dark too.
Trust me, listening to your children encourages them to talk. Ask good questions that lead to more conversation… ‘how was school’ doesn’t encourage a chat. But ” so what funny thing happened today at school” does. Try it. And listen.
€œListen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.€ ~ Catherine Wallace.