Welcome to the second week in our series ~ 10 simple things you can do today to connect with your child. I’ve been overwhelmed by your response to last week’s post. Thank you to everyone who left a comment here on the blog, joined me on Facebook or shared this on Pinterest. I’m so excited that we’re doing this together!
If you are joining us for the first time, you can read the post for WEEK 1 here, but don’t worry if you missed week 1. You can start right now with week 2. Each week for the next ten weeks, I’ll be sharing one simple idea that you can implement today to foster a more connected relationship with your child. It is my hope that by the end of the ten weeks we will be more present for our children, and more mindful of the type of parent we want to be. With each idea being so simple, and with only one intention to focus on each week, I know we can do this. Will you join me?
WEEK 2 – LISTEN
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,
then 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~
This quote from Catherine M. Wallace stopped me in my tracks the first time I read it. It’s certainly something I need to work on. More and more I’m noticing that I hear my son, R (3), but I’m not actively listening to him. I’ve become a master at interjecting with “Oh, really” and “that’s great honey” at just the right moment in a conversation, but my mind is so full of “stuff” lately ~ you know, all those really exciting things like deciding what to cook for dinner tonight, putting another load of washing in the machine, realising that DVD rental was due back at the store three days ago ~ that it’s not until R has finished talking that I realise I haven’t actually heard a single word he’s said. This has really caught me by surprise. I never used to be so distracted. If I don’t work on this now, eventually he’ll simply stop sharing with me. I want him to feel heard and valued. I want him to know that he can always come to me and I’ll listen intently. Last week’s intention of making eye contact and smiling has really helped. It has ensured I’m present for him before he even begins to speak to me.
This week’s intention then, is to listen. Attentively.
Let’s be mindful to show our children that we are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Let’s put aside distractions and truly hear our children. Ask questions and then truly listen to the answers. This is how we can come to know who our children really are, what matters to them, and what they truly need from us. This is how we can encourage them to want to keep sharing with us as they grow older.
Below are some links to articles that I’ve found helpful in learning to becoming a better listener. You’ll also find lots more links on my Pinterest board “Inspiring blog posts and parenting inspiration“.
- Want to learn how to be a better listener for your child? Dr Laura Markham at Aha!Parenting has Ten Tips to Be a Brilliant Listener with Your Child (this post has been a wonderful help to me)
- If you’re stuck for ideas of meaningful questions to ask your child then Dr Markham shares 100 Conversation Starters for Family Discussions
- Gina at Famiglia&Seoul has created a list of ways she plans to revive quality connections with her son.
How will you make time to listen to your child? Let’s share our ideas in the comments.
Here are the links for all 10 weeks of this series.
Week 1 – See them.
Week 2 – Listen.
Week 3 – Say yes.
Week 4 – Begin each day with play.
Week 5 – Come from a place of love.
Week 6 – Believe in them.
Week 7 – Let them be themselves.
Week 8 – Switch off, tune in.
Week 9 – Be a real person. Share yourself.
Week 10 – Be kind to yourself. You are enough.
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