By Roni Wing Lambrecht, Special for TDB.
From the time we bring them into this world, our children are trying to communicate with us. With the first cry, the first smile, the first giggle, the first time they tell us “No!” and every breath in between, they want us to see and hear them and simply acknowledge their existence. Often times, we hear them speak and, before we’ve even listened to their complete thought, we begin coming up with a solution, cure, or a teaching moment
when all we really need to do is listen to them and really hear what they have to say.
Even though we may think what they are saying or doing is unimportant because it has to do with something minor like coloring a picture or someone taking their toy when they have ten others to play with, we need to remember that those things are what’s important in their lives right at that particular moment. They don’t always need our advice. In fact, more often than not, they just need to be heard. If we actually take the extra few minutes to stop and listen, we may find that just letting them tell us what’s on their mind allows them to work through it themselves.
I was a pro at coming up with a solution before Dalton ever stopped talking. He would get so frustrated with me that he’d stomp off before I was finished giving him my advice. I’m sure you can imagine the frustration this caused between us. He’d be mad that I didn’t listen all the way through, and I’d be mad that he didn’t want to hear my brilliant Motherly advice. ☺
Straightforward Tips for Parenting at Your Best
Stop and listen until they are completely finished with their thought and ask yourself, “Are they asking me a question, or are they just asking to be heard?” Then acknowledge what they said by summarizing their words back to them (“If I understood you correctly, you said …”). Stop to help them at that moment, or if you’re in the middle of something else, actively schedule a time with themto handle the issue within a short period of time. (When he was little, Dalton told me “a short period of time to a kid is less than 30 minutes.” I’m sure he had no idea how much time that really was, but he knew it felt like a long time.)
Excerpt from Parenting At Your Best by Roni Wing Lambrecht www.ParentingAtYourBestWithoutRegrets.com
Bio for Roni Wing Lambrecht:
Life teaches us all many lessons, some more than others. Since losing their only child, Roni & her husband have learned what it takes to forge ahead and find new purpose in life; helping others to improve their lives by enhancing their focus on what is actually important; their children and other loved ones.
Roni’s books, Parenting At Your Best and A Parent’s Guide for Journaling to Their Child are a tribute to their son, Dalton, with anticipation that the stories and advice they offer will inspire others to excellence in their parenting.
Books available on Amazon or at www.ParentingAtYourBestWithoutRegrets.com.