Some children say they don’t talk to their parents because they aren’t listened to.
And some children think you aren’t listening if you don’t agree with them.
Whichever, it’s an all too common problem.
I know I’ve caught myself nodding my head and muttering some lame agreement, but I didn’t really hear what was said.
I didn’t listen!
Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” ~Matthew 12:34
Parents must use the principles of listening to what comes out of their child’s mouth to understand and gain insight into their child’s heart. Best case scenario, we won’t be blind-sided when there is a problem brewing, and we can deal with it before it becomes a monster.
So, listening becomes an imperative!
Don’t Underestimate The Value of Listening
Listening can feel like torture as a child goes on and on about things that don’t make sense to the parent.
Parents can get irritated by their child’s lack of logic, the differing viewpoints, or the naïve opinions of their children.
Children may be wrong, but they’re usually following some kind of internal logic.
However, it’s in these moments that parents can learn about a child’s heart.
4 Actions To Show Your Full Attention
Hearing is not listening.
- Stop what you’re doing
- Crouch down to your child’s level
- Make eye contact with them
- Avoid interrupting
Let your children finish their sentences at their own pace. It may be hard for them to find the correct words to use.
Put together, these 4 actions show your children that they have your full attention.
Listening allows you to figure out what’s going on and offer truth where helpful.
Try to discern what may be distracting or confusing them from understanding the truth.
Don’t feel like you have to point it out on the spot.
Take time to listen and make mental notes of errors in their thinking.
Whether what you hear is good or bad, time spent listening to your children gives you a greater sense of what’s going on inside their head, offering you ideas and direction about any heart change that’s needed.
Look for creative ways to help them understand truth more fully. One way to do that is to as discerning, result oriented questions. Your heartfelt personal conversation shows interest in them and their thoughts!
An accepting, safe, listening ear, often opens the heart in ways that nothing else can.
Listen well, my friend. Knowledge of your child’s heart depends upon it!
“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” ~Robert Frost (1874-1963)
“The first duty of love is to listen.” ~Paul Tillich (1886-1965)