Jan 272014

Hear and Don’t Just Listen

I think that most of us parents are guilty of brushing aside what our children are trying to say to us because it either really doesn’t matter to us or because we are just too busy living in chaos to stop and listen and hear the words, hearts and souls of our children.

There comes a time though where this brushing off of our children and their worries about who threw what or who isn’t being good that we have shut them out so many times that they no longer come to us because we don’t listen and we don’t hear what they are saying.

HearThis is where the problem starts.

When we don’t listen and actually hear, when we don’t set aside time to have those chats with our kids whether its about a ball or a hockey game or how their life is ruined because of a torn paper that a little one helped with then we are not going to be the ones they go to when they have more adult things to ponder.


These things include:

  • interest in boys/girls
  • dating
  • sex and intimacy
  • creating and maintaining their relationship with the Lord
  • school
  • life plans
  • goals
  • problems
  • heart break
  • their passions

Dismissing what they feel is important now, when they are young, we are sending the message that we will always dismiss them, and that leaves them to make blind choices or choices based on conversations with only their peers, they wont give us the chance to hear what they have weighing on them.

I don’t want to be the mother who has perfectly obedient children with a spotless house {okay I do} but I want to speak to my children like they are my equals so that they feel their points and thoughts are valid and know that my decisions for our/their lives are based on their opinions too, I want them to know that I hear.

How to Make Time

When your child comes running to you while you are making dinner or cleaning or whatever and you can’t stop but they have something to say ask them if they would like to help you and you can talk while you cook. If they are too young to be of any real help have them sit on the counter or pull up a chair so they are at eye level with you and let them talk about their problems. Look them in the eyes whenever you can and truly engage in the conversation. Ask them questions. If something is bugging them, ask them why, try to sort out their thought process WITH them.

If you have older children who can wait and they seem to be in a mood or begging for attention get to eye level and say to them that you will be able to finish up what you’re doing in five minutes {or so} and that you can speak with them in their room and if  they share a room your bedroom offers them privacy that the rest of the house doesn’t always have.

If you have teens who stay up later set aside time after the little ones are gone to bed each night and sit and talk with your children. Ask them what is in their heart. What they feel pulled to. Why? How is school, is anything bothering them is there anything they are really enjoying, if they had a rough day how can they make tomorrow better what was one good thing from that day. Pray together and place God at the forefront and make this a habit, even if its not EVERY night your teens will enjoy this time with you to have friendship and fellowship without the speech about chores.

I think that it is important that in all cases you end the day with your children big and small with a prayer of thanksgiving and for better days to come. A lot of families don’t have the same morning schedule and this can be hard to gather as a family in prayer but you can place notes in lunch kids, Bible verses in backpacks and even notes on the fridge reminding them that you love them, and God loves them. It may sound cheesy but the fact that you are taking a moment of your busy day to think about and devote to your children is something they won’t forget and will likely continue when raising their own children.

[Tweet “No matter how old your children are it is NEVER too late to change YOUR habits.”]

No matter how old your children are it is NEVER too late to change YOUR habits so that you can get to really know them and place value on the relationships you will have throughout your lives.

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