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Old 04-25-2009, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,492 posts, read 2,655,990 times
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I learned a lesson today.

My child came to me wanting to talk and they started to tell me something but I was busy and said to them not to tell me now. Now I am quite strict and they know not to persist pester and so they went away.

I saw him sitting looking sad had moment to pause and think.

Yes I was busy at the time he had come to me. But was I really THAT busy. Was what I was doing THAT important that I could'nt have just paused and listened? A lot of story can be told in a minute and I am sure that whatever he wanted to say would have only taken a minute.

So I have resolved to be a better listner. It will take practice and I know that I like to not be interrupted and so my instictive raction is to say not now but I am going to try to listen and respond unless whatever I am doing is absolutly important and given that I am not the president or ambulance dispatcher, then it is pretty likely that whatever I am doing aint all that important.

Anyway I just thought I would share that. And perhaps ask others - do you listen to your kids when they want you or when it is convienient to you?
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,142 posts, read 22,123,052 times
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Good for you. Remember the song Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin.....?

Sometimes little things make a big difference. Just the concept that they are important enough to warrant listening to...Keep it up.
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:00 AM
 
2,766 posts, read 8,845,068 times
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I try to listen right when they want to tell me, my DH however needs some work!
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:40 AM
 
756 posts, read 1,946,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KH02 View Post
I try to listen right when they want to tell me, my DH however needs some work!
Hahaha! I like that! Wish my hubby would listen to me right then and there!

The car is the best place to talk with your kids! I spend a lot of time chauffering them and we do alot of talking.

My kids are older (teens), so I have the benefit of hindsight. I know how fast they are growing up. But yes, I try to stop and focus on what they are telling me. Sometimes, I need some time to digest and think about what they are telling me to give my thoughts or respond.

Unless, it whining about wanting something.....then I tune em out!
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:24 AM
 
Location: In the real world!
2,178 posts, read 8,226,597 times
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I have always realized if they came to me and wanted to talk, it was important to THEM. I use to get so irritated with friends that would brush their kids off when it would only take a minute to say "What do you want?" and get a answer.
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Denver area
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ITA about the car. Especially as your kids get older - the car seems to be a very "neutral" place to talk - no eye contact, definite time limit followed by easy escape with no explanation needed! LOL
Seriously, it's the perfect place for thoughtful but non-confrontational discussions....that or eating. I would/will occasionally take my kids out for a snack or burger after school or practice. They are always hungry then and have stuff on their minds then.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:33 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
546 posts, read 1,464,079 times
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If my child comes up to me and wants to talk I listen. At the same time if it's during homework time and he wants to talk about something like toys (which often happens), then I ask him to hold off until his homework is finished so he can focus and he will have my full attention as soon as he is done. We've had important conversations during homework time which I have no issues letting him stop so we can talk about what is on his mind, but trivial things I try to redirect him until his first task is finished, if that makes sense.

I also try to engage the whole family in conversation together by always having dinner time together and asking everyone what the best and worst part of their day was. It's surprising what kind of conversations those can start.

However I seem to notice the most important discussions happen when you dont expect them to. In the car, while making dinner together, or just chilling. I think it has to do with the atmosphere of comfort, added with your hands being busy so you dont have to look eye to eye all the time that allows kids to feel comfy enough to bring up things more readily. I love those talks.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:31 AM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,724,832 times
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It depends on what they want to talk about. I usually let them start and if it is not that important (my 10 yo can blather on endlessly about the NFL draft) I sometimes put them off. But if it is something important, like advice on girls, school, friends, etc....then I will make time right there.

I have also found that my kids will talk in the car. I really try to make time alone with each child so that if they have something on their minds they have an opportunity to discuss it without their brothers listening to every word. They also like to talk at night before bedtime. I still tuck them in (they are 10, almost 13, 15) and they like the intimacy of their bedroom for important conversations.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:57 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
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I always made time for my kids.... nothing is more important!
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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Think of it like this: When a baby starts to babble, the parent should start to listen, and continue forever. The two people any child should ALWAYS know he/she can go to for an ear, is a parent.

I can't even begin to calculate what I have missed, put aside, ignored and lost, just to listen to my children. Every word, because I know that they would develope a habit of saying EVERYTHING to me, and they have, and they, in turn, understand how to listen and how important focused communication is to any relationship.
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