I love the saying, "You have two ears and one mouth for a reason". Do I practice what I preach? I try! But of course listening is an art form and something I always try to improve.
As you know, I like to talk....a lot. Duh....I'm a blogger! Maybe I'm arrogant? I don't know why I like to talk a lot. I guess I like to share information that I've learned or funny things that make me laugh with others. When it comes to parenting, I realize how important listening really is. Listening is the ultimate form of respect. Think about it. Do you ever respect people that don't listen to you? I'm willing to bet the answer is no. The same goes for children. Not only do we need to listen to them but we need to help them communicate. Here's an example...
My daughter asked me a few weeks ago, "Mommy, why is your house different than Daddy's house?". My stomach dropped and I immediately panicked trying to think of how to answer this question. Everything I've read says that I should only tell the kids about the separation based on what they ask since they are so young. Luckily, I asked Sienna, "What do you mean?" and she replied, "Why does your house have big windows and Daddy's house have little windows?" Turns out she wasn't asking about why Mommy and Daddy separated (like I initially thought)-she was merely interested in the architecture. BUT if I wouldn't have asked, I wouldn't have known!
I know this idea is going to be unpopular but I believe that our children are don't listen because we don't listen to them enough. How often are we too busy trying to do what we plan and what we think they want that we forget to really stop and listen to them? It's really not complicated!