I’ve been known to go off on a tangent talking with my kids – sometimes it might have even been lecturing in hopes that I could ward off any hard lessons they could encounter by being a proactive parent. But that doesn’t always work. Just because we parents have learned the ‘hard way’ and don’t want our kids to follow suit, it doesn’t matter. We all have to learn our life lessons how we choose.
Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way and that’s ok even though I would have given my eyeteeth to prevent it for my kids. But I’ve learned my lesson, the hard way, that I have to let them have their own lives and choose their decisions. I can advise. I can give examples. I can role model. I can help and…
I can listen. But this is their life.
Listening is a lost art-form in parenting. My parents didn’t listen to me, (generational thing?) but I do my best to listen to my kids. And lucky for me, they do share some things once I learned to shut my mouth and listen.
When given the safe feeling to share, kids can explain their amazing thought processes. While those ideas may not be yours as a parent, I have often found the conclusions they’ve made in certain situations or beliefs that they hold, super interesting. While sometimes they are hard for me to grasp, I’m grateful that my kids will explain when I ask for further detail. We usually have a good share and will patiently listen to each other’s views and ask questions that are pertinent.
What it does more than that though is this:
It gives sacred space to feel protected while sharing which is priceless in any relationship.
Listening isn’t for the faint of heart though as sometimes we get more information than we bargained for, but that connection is crucial in parenting! So keep listening! And learn to keep a straight face!