Just when I think I am being a smart mommy… The Boy, once again, proves he’s smarter.
We’ve been having a lot of trouble lately with listening. I realize he’s three and it is developmentally normal for him to totally tune out all things except those that he wants to hear… but it’s driving us CRAZY. So, while perusing the Scholastics catalogue I discovered a book called Why Should I Listen?. I thought, ‘perfect, this is a great way to try discussing this in a different way – preferably when Mommy is not counting to a hundred’ (we’re way past counting to ten in this house!).
I ordered the book and eagerly awaited it’s arrival. When it did, we settled down for our bedtime stories and I pulled out the new book – which is always cause for excitement in our house. It wasn’t a particularly well written book but it made the necessary points and The Boy and I began to discuss the various reasons why listening is so important.
I didn’t get very far into my gentle but planned lecture on listening before The Boy piped up to say “but Mommy, sometimes you don’t listen to me.” I have to stay it stopped me dead in my tracks. As parents we all have times where we’re too busy to drop everything and listen to a long description of how one dinky car crashed into another dinky car – but that doesn’t make it any easier to hear, especially when told in a quiet voice and when it’s followed up but a “that’s okay Mommy, I love you even when you don’t listen.”
My planned discussion on why children should listen when out the window, to be replaced with an apology and a conversation about how mommies and daddies have lots of jobs and aren’t able to do everything they want to do – but that it’s also always important to let people know if you don’t feel you are being listened to.
It was a good reminder that the little ball of energy tearing around my house is a developing person, and that all actions have reactions. It’s made it easier to remind myself to take even just a moment to listen or to explain that while I can’t listen to his story right now, I would love to in just a minute.
We’ve since read the book again and had the discussion about the importance of listening to adults when they say something – I just wish it had been more effective!