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Mom, Please Listen to Me
By Barrington H. Brennen
Questions: Dear Sir: Yesterday I overheard a mother and her daughter in a heated argument. The mother, constantly disrupted the child when the child tried to state her point of view. This ugly episode ended prematurely when the mother shouted to her daughter, "shut up, you have nothing to say, you have no valuable opinion." It really shocked me to hear a mother say that. So I am asking the question on her behalf: How important is it for parents to listen to their children?

Answer: It is extremely important for parents to listen to their children always. In a previous article, I stressed that establishing relationships with your children is more important than making rules. Rules are needed and are natural. However, they are empty without meaningful relationships. Perhaps the best way of creating meaningful relationships is to listen to your children. Listening opens doors and it shows respect and honor.

Children appreciate an attentive ear more than they do their parent's advice. Listening to our children shows them we're interested in them. Research has shown that "a major difference between strong and troubled families is the amount of interest that family members show in each others' lives. The more interest shown, the stronger the family generally is." Ronald Pitzer, sociologist. Listening shows that you are interested.

I am convinced that the reason so much teenage violence exists in our country is because parents do not actively listen to their children. When your children know that you will always listen to them (not necessarily agree with them) they will have a better spirit of cooperation.

"Listening means more than hearing the words someone speaks. It means thinking about the things you hear. Sometimes you listen best when you try to notice the things that are not said. Young children cannot always say what they mean. They may not know how to ask for the things they want. They may not know their own feelings well enough to know what is making them angry or sad. But looking at children when they speak can help you understand. Watch your children as they talk. What you see can help tell you how your children feel."

STOP AND LISTEN
Parents, it is now time to stop and listen to your children. It does not matter if they are six days old or sixteen years old. Listen to the words they are using, the volume of the voices, the pauses between phrases. They could be giving you messages that their words alone canít explain. Listen to their footsteps, the taping of the fingers on the chairs, flowing of water while they are showering. You may discern something special about their character. Listen to their mumblings when they are washing dishes, their disappointments over failing grades, or sadness over lost relationships. You will open doors for intimate sharing and closeness.

Listen to their heartbeat, their breathing, singing, and laughter. You will experience a joy that words cannot explain. Listen to them sleeping, waking, crying, and sighing . You will better understand their ups and downs. Listen to their shouts and screams, their ahs! and oos!. You may discover an easier way to help them release their tension. Listen to their combing of the hair, ironing their skirt, and brushing their teeth. You may discover another beauty in their character. Listen to their praying, reading of the Bible, and sharing of ideas. You will learn about the depth of their soul. Listen to their disagreements and agreements. You will open the door of your heart to them. If you would only listen. Itís like magic. Things can be better in your house if you would only LISTEN. Listen, Listen. Mom, instead of telling your child to shut up, you shut up and LISTEN always.

 

 
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Permission is granted place links to these articles on social media like Google+, FaceBook, etc..    Permission is also granted to print these pages and to make the necessary copies for your  personal use, friends,  seminar, or meeting handout.  You must not sell for personal gain, only to cover the cost to make copies if necessary.    Written permission (email) is needed to publish or reprint articles and materials in any other form.   Articles written by Barrington H. Brennen, Counseling Psychologist, Marriage & Family Therapist.  P.O. Box CB-13019,  Nassau, The Bahamas.   
 
 question@soencouragement.org or barringtonbrennen@gmail.com  Phone contact is 242-327 1980.   
 
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