This quote is so true, isn’t it? SIT DOWN!
I mean doesn’t’ it piss you off when you are telling your kids to do something and they are not paying attention? I mean we even tell our dogs (we are dog lovers) to sit down to teach them something. Not that I am comparing kids to animals!
So I challenge you if you want to get your child’s attention…just SIT DOWN! They may wonder what is wrong, or if they are in trouble, but really you are trying to set an example. You are being an attentive listener!
My word for 2019 is FOCUS, and I mean that sincerely. Focus on every aspect of my life and business. What I noticed last year is when I was working in my office or on my phone, and my son was trying to talk to me or ask me something, he got very upset because I wasn’t really “listening” in an attentive way. And I completely understand, he wanted my attention. He wanted me to FOCUS on him!
We are all so busy, and the demands put on parents or families nowadays are greater than ever. But we can’t use this as an excuse not to listen, not to SIT DOWN! I mean, how can we really “hear” what our kids are saying if we are too busy working or on our phones looking at our social media if we don’t FOCUS on them.
So again I challenge you to SIT DOWN and FOCUS on your children when they are talking to you, and here are 8 reasons why:
- Teach By Example
You all know that children model our behaviors and actions. They are doing this from a very young age. So by being good, attentive listeners with them increases the chances that they too will show us the same respect when we want them to listen to us.
- Strengthens Your Bond
When our kids are little they love to be hugged, but as they get older they really just want us to listen. Establishing the skills of patient listening and giving them the tools to express themselves in a safe place will help them learn to “find their own voice” and begin to advocate for themselves.
- Building Their Self Esteem
As you have experienced, when you feel that you are a priority your self-esteem grows and it’s the same thing for kids. We all need to “slow down” in this fast-paced world. So, when we schedule “family time” your children know they have your undivided attention, and this is such a huge boost in their self-worth, they feel valued and seen!
- Creates Emotional Wellbeing
Research is showing that families who take the time to have dinner together with NO phones, or any technology for that matter have healthier and more meaningful connections with their children. There is less stress or anxiety and opens the door for real conversations to take place.
- Encourages Open Communication
Which flows right into our next area, open communication. If you can start with a tech-free environment early in life you then don’t have to be the “bad cop” and take away their phones because these routines will have already been established. Encourage conversation with your children. My son gets a communication log sent home from school so we can ask questions about his day!
- Facilitates Understanding
It can be very hard to understand what they are saying if we are not attentively listening. So ask open-ended questions which will encourage dialog between you and your child. This will show them that you really do care “how they felt when taking the math test!”. By being engaged and present.
- Develops Social Skills
We all enjoyed talking to our children when they were babies, as we knew this helped them to learn to talk and discover their voice. And maybe the conversation gets harder with your child when they get older, but regularly talking with your child gives them the practice of developing positive social relationships and appropriate ways to communicate in the outside world. Like, how to be a good friend or how to be a good team player when working on a project at school. How to appropriately ask for help when they need it.
- Promotes the Exchange of Ideas
When our children are young they see the world with “fresh eyes” and because of their inexperience, their ideas are not always valued, which can stifle their creativity and learning. So ask for your child’s opinion on things, make their ideas come to fruition.
So again I challenge you to make “attentive listening” part of your routine. Sit down, look into your children’s eyes, repeat back what they said for understanding and enjoy the time with them.