Sunday, September 28, 2008

Children Should Be Seen AND Heard

I've always struggled with feelings of not being 'good enough'. Because of this I don't take 'constructive criticism' very well and this has caused me a few problems over the years (but that's a whole different post for another day!).

But the other day my sweet mother-in-law complimented me on something I didn't even realize that I do and it really made me feel good. She said that I really listen to my kids. She said that back when she grew up kids were expected to be seen only and not heard and that she so wishes that she would have took the time to listen to her kids the way she sees me doing with ours.

She said that the night of our car accident when we were sitting at her dining room table (they had taken the kids home with them while I was getting X-rays taken at the ER and we had to go pick them up) that even though it was mainly us adults talking that I would stop and really listen when one of the kids said something. They had just been through something very scary and what they were feeling was very real to them and they needed to talk about it. It's our job to help them understand and work through things. How can we do that if we don't listen to what they have to say?

I never really thought about it, it's just what I do. It just comes natural. Even though they're little they're still people, individuals with real feelings and real thoughts and that's important. How would I feel if whenever I tried to say something or voice my opinion I was constantly ignored or told to 'go play'?

Even Jesus listened to the little ones. Remember how He said, 'suffer not the little children to come unto me'? I can just see him drawing them onto his lap and talking to them and listening to all the things they had to say to Him, silliness and all, and thoroughly enjoying it!

No, everything that comes out of their mouths is not necessarily interesting and a lot of it doesn't even make sense but to them it's important and even more important is that they know they are heard and loved. I encourage you to take the time to stop and listen to your children as much as you can. It will mean the world to them and it will really strengthen the bond the two of you share. If they grow up knowing that you will listen when they they have something to say as they get older they will feel more comfortable coming to you with the more important things. And isn't that what we all want?

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