Thursday, June 2, 2011

From the Wolf Den: Listen To Me

I like to think I listen to my children, but in reality I probably don't as much as I should. In 17 + years of parenting there is a lot of listening; to joys, fears, irrational explanations, complaints.

We have a lot on our minds, we moms and dads, and sometimes we're way ahead of our kids when they rush through the door at the end of the day, thinking already about what to thaw out for dinner or how the heck we'll manage to drive to running club while juggling a teleconference.

Kid says to us "Guess what happened today?" and before he even has time to throw his backpack on the floor we're already interrupting to say "Put your backpack in the proper place and take off your shoes and don't forget to start your homework!" Kid goes to do all these things, and we both forget what happened today.


It's even more complicated with Wolf. With so much of our communication over the phone and so many limitations currently placed upon his worldly experiences, it's hard sometimes to listen. Add in an endless explanation about the current Obsession of the Week and sometimes 15 minutes feels like 50. This weekend was one of those conversations. Memorial Day crowd over at the house, a beautiful day, and Wolf wanted to talk about the Enterprise.


But we try, and to be fair, Wolf does, too. Knowing that sometimes he falls back into a comfortable form of communication when stressed or tired or upset means Yukon and I must be the ones to ask the questions and do the engaging. Active listening at its best.

Bear calls me on it all the time. "Mommy, you're not listening to me!" And perhaps I'm not. Perhaps this child is the one to be my reminder when Wolf comes home and requires more listening than other kids.

Listen to me.

Listen. To. Me.


Natalie said...

Been there, guilty as hell-O! of that. If only they were kids for 40 years, then maybe we'd have enough time to get it right...not that I'm wishing to parent my kids 40 years, just wanting to do a basically competent job. Oh, and then I have to listen to the spousal, it never ends! :)

Marge said...

To me, the listening means first hearing, then waiting while I digest what I heard before responding, as it's in the responding that I give away whether I really listened or not!

And your like your first commenter, I wasn't wishing to parent for 40 years, but in reality I am still actively parenting a 43 year old! She didn't come to us until she was 13, so I guess she hasn't had the full benefit of my listening!


AKBrady said...

You are both so right! Listening is so much more than simply opening ears and looking like we're paying attention. If nothing else, Wolf has taught me that. Blessings to you and your families.