Thursday, September 23, 2010

To be a better listener

One of the other things I did with my girl is to be a better listener. I realise that in my rushed day, I often do not listen to her. I look at her with glazed far away eyes, mumble something or brush her aside. That is why she has this constant need for attention. She wants to test to see if I am listening. At least that is my theory anyway. She knows it too, the fact that I am not listening. Quite often she would say "Mummy, are you listening?" or "Mummy, what was I saying" catching me when I tell her something else altogether.

I try to imagine how she feels by imagining how I feel when I am all excited to tell hubby about something, only to get that glazed far away look, an hmm mmm mumble for an answer or a "not now I am busy" answer. That is exactly how she feels when I do not listen.

Now, I try to listen to her better and along with the extra hugs, she is happier and behaving a lot better. Oh, I do not drop everything just to listen to her. I think that would be encouraging her to seek more attention. However, I tell her that sometimes I am busy and cannot give her my full attention. I tell her that she must choose the right time to speak and not barge in whenever she likes. I am teaching her to respect my time and in return, I also allocate time to listen to her fully. When I am available, I tell her "Now, I am free, what was it you wanted to tell me earlier."

Sometimes the kids do not like this. They say, "if you make us wait, we forget what we want to say." I have to tell them that if it is important enough, they won't forget it. They still sulk at this but I have to be firm with them.

It is not easy to listen to kids. They speak everything that comes to mind and that is usually a lot. They would describe a whole lot events in perfect details leading to just one point. Sometimes we tend to tune out after a while. We are still there but no longer there.... and they know it!

You would become a really good listener if you learned to listen to kids especially if you have to do it 24/7!

Listening is an important skill for any relationship. I am going to keep on practising and improving on my listening skills. How about you? Are you listening?

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  1. U know sometimes I am so bad that I finish his sentence for my boy! Can't wait for him to finish, can't take few minutes more to listen... Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Leeyen,
    Or I'd say "ya ... ya.." and all my body language says I want to be anywhere else at the moment rather than listening to the poor kids. Or sometimes I stop them in mid sentence. or I'd say "huh?" absentmindedly. And the list goes on. :P *guilty*


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