Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Importance of Listening

"A society in which adults are estranged from the world of children, and often from their own childhood, tends to hear children's speech only as a foreign language, or as a lie. Children have been treated as congenital fibbers, fakers and fantasisers." — Beatrix Campbell, British journalist (1947- )

Hal Runkel: Today's society is very demanding. Many of us find ourselves running on empty and hardened to the world of play that we once loved. When we allow our schedules and demands to take over our lives, we cut ourselves off from an important connection we have to our children. We can even start to resent them for the fun that they do have because we've forgotten how. When is that last time you really listened to your son or daughter? Children generally have a fresh and positive view of the world, but we often only hear them when they complain and then we take it personally. Try letting go of a little tension the next time you see your kids and just be with them. Listen to what they have to say without trying to teach or shape them. Just sit back and allow yourself to see the world through their eyes; you might be surprised at how much fun it is, even if only for a moment.
The thing I like about Hal's perspective is that he promotes interaction and responsibility on both parent and child. Kids are not an inconvenience in a parents life. Most of the time when my child wants to show me something or tell me something ... they are inviting me into their world. I don't ever want those invitations to stop coming to me.

Let's commit to listen to our kids more in 2009 and foster responsible, respectful, and honoring people.

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