On an average day, how much do you listen? Not just the listen to while you work listening. But the stop everything and give your full attention listening. Be intentional. This is hard to do, isn’t it? But, listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give one another.
Listening is especially hard to do with kids. Maybe you can relate? One of the workshops I attended at Hearts at Home addressed this. It was called 10 Questions to ask your kids every year and it was led by Susan Seay.
Susan shared a lot about the importance of being intentional. One strategy she uses is asking her kids the same ten questions once a year. Some examples are:
What could we do to improve our relationship?
Do you feel respected be me? Do you respect me?
What could I do that would let you know that you are loved and appreciated?
Plan a time
In order to go through these questions, the next step is to plan a time with each child individually. And once that time has been planned, guard it and plan nothing else.
Susan explained that during the question time, you are to be in secretary mode. Take notes the whole time. It’s not a time to go into apologies because you don’t want to interrupt their share. You also want to listen to them and not defend yourself in any way. What matters is how your kids saw the situation. The kids need to feel safe about what they share.
Know your kids
As you do the question time, you will get to know your kids a lot more. It creates a heart to heart time which connects you with your children. To know your kids is to love them.
Susan has written a book called The Intentional Parent: Parenting on Purpose When Life Gets Busy. I look forward to reading this book and gleaning more insight. I encourage you to check it out also!
Listening to our kids really does help us to get to know them more fully. We can be intentional and make time to ask our kids questions. After we create that time, we need to guard it because it communicates value to our kids. As we listen, let’s be in secretary mode so our kids can freely share. Let’s give our kids one of the greatest gifts of our time and full attention.
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