Today’s article is a much-needed REMINDER to: just listen.
As simple as it sounds, it is not. Most parents feel extremely uncomfortable when their children cry, complain, feel disappointed, left out, angry or frustrated. Parents (unconsciously) react by talking. They say things like:
- Don’t cry! Everything will be OK…
- Don’t cry! You’re not really hurt…/ It’s not that bad…
- Don’t be upset! You will get an A next time… / You’ll make the team next year…
- Why would you feel left out? Your friends love you.
- Don’t worry about the test! You’re such a smart kid…
You get the point. We talk and talk and talk. Unfortunately, we are not helping the child with the talking; on the contrary:
- we create confusion (Am I not feeling what I’m feeling?)
- we unconsciously teach the child not to trust their own body/gut feelings
- we unconsciously “force” the child to store these raw emotions in their body, which in turn creates long-lasting and unhealthy imprints in the nervous system, which in turn creates unhealthy coping and self-defense mechanisms which become evident much later in life.
Listening is not easy, but it’s simple. Just listen. Zero to minimum talking.
I wrote extensively in previous articles on tips for listening (go back on my blog, please, and read).
When we listen with patience, warmth, non-judgement, and loving presence, a child will:
- release emotions/feelings that are present in their body from current or past events;
- be able to think more clearly after being listened to;
- be able to cooperate and follow directions easier;
- return to their natural state of curiosity and play;
- be able to focus their attention on more difficult activities, like homework and chores;
- reconnect with their inborn kindness and generosity;
- feel accepted, appreciated and unconditionally loved;
- trust that their parents will always be there for them (secure attachment).
If you need to build the skills to listen, join my Conscious Parent Accelerator Program today, as this mom did: