Parents of toddlers do a lot of talking. There are a thousand and seven questions and requests to reply to. There are desires and emotions to tend. And there are directions to give.
In general, we do a lot of talking. We all want attention to be on us. We want stress relief. We want to be noticed and heard and accepted and acknowledged.
How often are we listening? Really listening? Not just waiting for your turn?
I am very guilty of just waiting for my turn. I am very guilty of waiting for my turn to be in the spotlight or vent my feelings.
My plan and challegne, should you choose to accept, is to spend February, the month of love, listening more and talking less.
I looked up some tips for good listening.
Pay attention the listener. Look at them. Turn off distractions if you want or can, this works better for big discussions.
Show you are listening. Encourage the speaker with nods, the occasional grunt of acknowledgement and an expression. No one wants to talk to a wall.
If you need to talk, paraphrase the person’s words back to them and ask questions.
Do NOT interrupt. This one happens to my husband all the time. It frustrates him to no end. I don’t mean to interrupt, just sometimes, I need to. Probably not, I’ll work on this one.
Are you willing to spend a month listening to your family, freinds and co-workers? What do you think you’ll gain out of it? If anyone has any stories to share in the month of February about listening, please email me at asrai.rd AT gmail DOT com.