I’m sure a main frustration that most parents have with their kids is that Jr. doesn’t LISTEN.
Sometimes, not to a word that we say is computed in that little mind. BUT…Have you ever done this? “No, thank you.” “Not right now.” “Mommy doesn’t have time, maybe later.” “Can’t stop to talk right now, mommy has a lot of work to do.” Confession. I have, and to defend us parents that do do this there are times Jr. has to zip it and, for example, go to sleep.
Although last night as I was going to bed, to my shame the picture reel of my day runs through my mind. Most of the times I try to stop that reel because negative thoughts while busy moms are exhausted is never a good idea. Best to shut that thinking down and go to sleep.
Well on this particular night a certain habit that I’ve recently developed kept running though my mind.
Habit = I’m NOT listening. I could remember throughout the day of 3 different instances over my 3 older children. Where I only pretended to listen (“Uhm hum”) or flat out ignored them. I didn’t do it to be mean, ( I have a list of excuses ready, if anyone asks) but I realized it kept happening.
Flash Forward – If I keep doing this NOT LISTENING thing: when my kids are teenagers they will only pretend to listen or flat out ignore me or worst yet, find it hard to have a conversation with me. I would feel like I only had myself to blame.
LISTENING is the greatest gift I can give my children. That’s all that anyone ever wants = is to be HEARD. Including kids.
So WHY don’t I do it? Why do I have LISTENING at the bottom of my “to-do-list”? It wasn’t my intention to do this!
I’ve let it slip and replaced it with a bad habit. I think this happens at one time or another to all of us parents. Where we really want to parent intentionally but over time things slip to the bottom of our priority list. Life Happens. I know that but I also know that I need to intentionally parent.
But I can get so stuck in my own habits.
I guess what I mean to say is…What is the top priority of your intentional parenting? Is it still there? Or over time did it slip down the priorities. Take ONE thing that has slipped down to the bottom of your priority list and look to see if it’s something needs to be back on top. For example: Did you want to read a story with your Gr.2 child every other night? Did you want to sing with your kids on the van ride home everyday? Did you intend to read a child’s devotional with them before bed? Did you want to pray for your kids every morning when you wake up?
I’m picking LISTENING. The next time one of my kids has a story to tell, I’m going to TRY to stop and look them in the eye and really listen. Responding with questions instead of “U hmm” and a head nod. I already know while writing this that this is going to be REALLY hard for me. Especially step #1 STOPPING what I’m doing! (raise your hand if you HATE stopping a job in the middle = before kids we took for granted the joy of finishing a job uninterrupted!)
But I’m really going to try. For my future teenagers, more importantly for my kids right now, I need to try. Imperfect progress.
Habits are hard to break.
Will you join me this week? Think back to something that you really want for your kids. Think of your TOP priority (just pick ONE) Remember not to wait for the proverbial “tomorrow.” Bump that up to TODAY!!!! Your not alone! You can do it!
By: Sharon Schuler
P.S. Song Blog for the week: You Are Not Alone!