lifestyle

Are You Listening? How to Listen to Your Kids

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I know I have ask my kids time and time again, “Are you listening to me?” They may say yes but I realize that they did not hear a word I said to them just 15 minutes earlier. Whether it is asking them to do something or a serious conversation, sometimes I know they are not really listening.

As a parent, I have been guilty of turning a deaf ear to both of my children at one time or another. Sometimes I have heard all the drama I can tolerate. I think to myself, “Oh, here we go again.” I have thought what I was doing was more important than what the kids had to say.  When their behavior became a problem, I just could not understand what was wrong. I realized that my kids felt ignored; that what they did was not a big deal to me. This happened especially with my daughter. She had some sort of drama or petty problem everyday. My daughter was struggling because I did not take the time to really listen and show interest.

How To Better Listen to Your Kids

I took steps to change my relationship with the kids; to let them know I was listening. The steps have significantly improved our relationship and behavior choices.

  1. I began to ask about their day. Not just “how was your day,” but more in depth questions. I ask about friends, teachers, tests, homework and the clubs they are involved in.
  2. When either of the kids want to talk, I take advantage! I stop what I am doing to listen to what they have to say.
  3. They know the line of communication is open. They can talk to me about anything. I will listen and try to give them an unbiased opinion.  (But I am still their mom)
  4. We do more family activities together, even if it is a family game or movie at home.
  5. I pray for them and they know it.

I would get so frustrated when the kids did not listen to me, but they were following my example. Now we take the time to listen to each other. Wow! What a difference it makes to be a good listener. It does not matter how old your children are they need you to listen to them. When we listen to our children they know they are important to us.

What do you do to strengthen your relationship with your kids?

Robin Greene is a mom of two teenagers and strives to have a close relationship with them on a daily basis. Robin enjoys watching her son play baseball and her daughter dance.  Robin also enjoys participating in church activities, teaching Kindergarten and writing for mybabyclothes.com.  Your little one can never have enough cute baby clothes, twirly tutus or darling baby hats.
 
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
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