Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Listening

I have a 2 year old (and an 8, 5, and 7 month old) and this stage can be very trying. My two-year old has the occasional temper tantrum, but he's really starting to get quite mischievous. Time-outs are something he knows quite a bit about.
But there are many moments that are worthy of the video camera because he's so dang cute!

This age is a great reminder for me about the things that are most important.
My little boy is an amazing talker. He spoke much earlier than both of my girls, but that's probably because his older sisters never stop talking. LOL.
Speaking early and clearly enough that it was easy for us to understand, helped eliminate a lot of the frustrations he might have otherwise experienced because we could meet his needs as he vocalized them.

At his young age, he's already learned something.
People don't listen.
When he talks, he will repeat whatever he is saying over and over again until he's satisfied that you really are listening. You can't just say, "Uh-huh" or "Yeah." Usually, you have to repeat back to him what he's saying. In Psych talk from my counseling classes, this is affirming what the other person is saying.

Like right now, I'm typing this and he has said, "Mom, it's gonna rain on my car." three times in a row. There. I just  said, "It's gonna rain on your car?" and he said, "Yeah."
Now he's off to another topic and rolling on his little brother.

My two-year old wants what we all want--someone to listen and understand him.
Kids are smart. They learn early that grown-ups are busy and if they want us to listen, they can't give up when things get hectic. My five-year old employs the same tactics of her younger brother so she can't be ignored. My eight-year old has started giving up when I don't hear her the first three times.

It's hard to carry on a conversation when three other people are talking, screaming, crying at the same time. But what does this mean about our adult conversations? Do we really listen?
There are so many distractions and I'm not just talking about kids.

Do you think you are a good listener? If so, what helps you really listen?

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