Abstract: PARENTINGWe complain about our kids not listening while our kids say that we do not even try to listen!
They thrive when we listen to their thoughts, feelings, wants and needs. What if we embrace listening as a sacred responsibility and one of the greatest gifts we can give to our kids? A list of thing we can do to embrace the power of really listening to our kids.
"Listen 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 M. Wallace
Are we really listening to our kids? We complain about our kids not listening while our kids say that we do not even try to listen! We all need to be listened to when we have doubts, fears, have made mistakes, have dreams and successes. We thrive on compassionate listening without being judged, blamed, criticized, interrupted or advised. What if we embrace listening as a sacred responsibility and one of the greatest gifts we can give to our kids?
Our children look to us to discover who they are. They thrive when we listen to their thoughts, feelings, wants and needs. Their self-esteem is enhanced when we listen with intent to discover their particular way of being. They empower themselves when we enter their world with deep compassion and understanding. They blossom as we listen to them going through all their different life stages with their changing wants and needs.They learn to trust themselves as we make sure that we are not trying to turn them into someone who we think they should be!
By embracing the power of listening we can…
- Ask the question, “What is the nature of experiencing the love, empowerment and joy of being a good listener?”
- Acknowledge any guilt for not really listening to our kids. At some point, most of us realize that we have not been really listening. We remember moments where we have not been present and have criticized, judged, blamed and shamed our kids instead of listening to them. Embrace, move, vibrate and release the no movement that is holding any guilt in place. The good news is that it is never too late to make a change!
- Be honest with ourselves. Are we willing to listen or are we more concerned about evaluating and thinking about what we want them to hear next? Are we acting as if we are listening while we are actually busy preparing our thoughts about what next question we want to ask them or what advice we want to give them?
- Ask our kids if they think we are listening. Kids know when they are being respected and taken an interest in. Acknowledge if we think we have not been doing our best to listen to them. Let them know that we really want to listen and are learning how to listen better.
- Create a safe and fun space to move, dance, vibrate and free up our energy. Join our kids in letting their energy move! Notice how the movement makes it easier to open up to listen and to be listened to.
- Embrace the parts of us that have been afraid to listen to ourselves. As we learn how to listen to ourselves we learn how to listen to our kids. As we embrace, listen and express the fearful, sad and mad parts of ourselves we open the pathways for our kids to listen, express and communicate with the different parts of themselves.
- Get reality checks on what our kids have said and felt. Notice their facial expressions, body language and choice of words. Ask them what they said in a high questioning voice tone, so it defines what we said as a question. Keep listening until we clarify what they said, and they confirm that they have been heard.
- Explore and release any blocks to listening. Explore the limitations we learned and experienced during our own childhoods. It is never too late to make sense of those experiences and become a great listener now!
- Listen before we react. Listening requires patience. Our moods can make us less available to listen. Breathe and get present rather than reacting to our children with strong emotional behaviors, impulsiveness and distortion of what is actually happening.
- Remember that listening liberates. Avoid feeling sorry for, giving advice or making up reasons why something that happened to your child is "not so bad." Listen with unconditional love and let them feel how their feelings count and how much we love them whether win or lose.
- Listen in the moment. Avoid acting as though we are listening if we are really distracted. Let our kids know if it is not a good time to listen, and let them know when a good time is.
- Beware of quick rebutting and rejecting what our kids are saying if we do not have the same view. Avoid starting a verbal battle even before we know what our kids have said!
- Listen with intent to give them a chance to figure out their own problems. Listen, wait and give them time and space for allowing insights to come into their minds. Listen while they discover the freedom of self clarification, self understanding and trust in letting down their defenses. When they are ready, let them talk it out while they get to the core of their feelings and what they are really wanting.
- Listen as they learn that what seems unsolvable is actually solvable. Listen as they discover that they can be part of the resolution in their world!
About the author: Crystal is a certified expansion guide, author,, coach and facilitator for the live event called Freedom at the Core. She is the instructor and coach for her online course, Freedom From the Inside Out. She draws from her own experience and the experience of the thousands of people she has worked with over the past 35 years. Crystal is known for the fun and empowering way she supports people in bringing forth the experiences they want in their lives. Currently she is creating a program for parents to explore and experience new perspectives on raising children. She is also writing a series of children's books that embrace the principles of living freedom.