“Listen to understand, not to respond.”
I have spent the past several years offering the above advice. I have explained that often we listen while planning our response, and in doing so, we do not truly hear what is being said. Once we really listen and understand what we are hearing, it will be our turn to say what we want to say.
But I realized this weekend that there is a better way to explain what I have been trying to teach.
“Listen and acknowledge; then respond.”
When my 3 year old asks for a cookie while I’m cooking to dinner, I am not just going to say “No”.
I am going to say, “Oh, a cookie does sound good. But it’s too close to dinner.”
When my 8 year old, on a rainy day, asks if we can go miniature golfing, I am not just going to say “No”.
I am going to say, “That is a fun thing to do. But we won’t be able to go today.”
When my teen tells me about a new local restaurant, I am not just going to ask him about his homework.
I am going to say “That sounds great; let’s go sometime”. Then I’ll ask about homework. (Because we always ask about homework.)
I am going to acknowledge what I just heard.
I am going to say something that directly addresses what my child has just said.
I am going to show my child that I heard what she said, that I care about what she said.
By doing so, my child will feel heard and understood.
And then my child will be ready to listen to me.
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- May 2017
- February 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- June 2016
- November 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- April 2014
- September 2009
- August 2009