Today we start where we left off last night.. at LISTEN.
Yes! 'listen', that's all it takes..
to make your child feel loved and appreciated
to make your child feel accepted and understood
to help you child develop positive self esteem and a well balanced personality
to be able to be your child's best friend (yes, I strongly advocate being 'friends with your child'.. but more on it some time later.. 😊 )
to be aware of the world as he/she sees it
to be able to keep her/him safe
to gift your child a happy childhood.. a 'beautiful bachpan'.
The catch however is in understanding the distinction between 'hearing' and 'listening'. Most simply put, listening involves 'paying attention'... 'undivided attention'.
The kind of attention, which involves direct face to face eye contact... Sure you can hear with your eyes on the TV, mobile, the gas stove or what have you.. but to 'listen', your eyes have to be looking into you child's.
Undivided attention, which involves empty hands, as against those handling remotes, mobiles, books, papers, knitting needles, chopping knives.. In fact, better still, are hands that touch 'n snuggle your child as he/she speaks to you.
However a question arises.. Must you listen vs hear, all the time? Sure, young children can often ramble on and on, on seemingly 'meaningless' (to you..!) topics..and you can't be available to them all time of day! However it is the 'listening' to these seemingly meaningless and trivial issues now, that shall enable him/her to continue to uninhibitedly talk to you as an adolescent and beyond..
Sure you deserve a life beyond gifting 'undivided attention' to your children (which by the way they are bound to grow to love).You need not always drop whatever it is that you are doing, each time your child wants to talk.. however do take the time to tell him/her that you are currently preoccupied and 'could we please talk.. in an hour / at dinner / at bedtime/ after you get back from the park'.. (mentioning a specific time referral that your child can relate to.. but never leave it at simply we'll talk 'later') Once your children realise that, you aren't jilting them with 'later's, and further discover that you keep your word of being available at the promised time.. and then, 'listen' rather than 'hear'.. they'll bit by bit, stop being nags and pushovers in terms of attention seeking.
For those of us whose children hardly ever talk.. whenever, however rarely, they do talk.. drop everything and 'listen'.. n continue thus, till viola! you see them beginning to share and talk. 😇
As for how old does your child need to be, before you start 'listening' to him/her? The answer to that is, as soon as they begin to converse with you.. and yes your lap baby 'goo gaa gurgling' while looking deep into your eyes, sure counts as a conversation 🥰 So the earlier, the better.. and yet... it's never too late to start... So go on, Listen your way into their hearts.
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