Monday, June 15, 2009

Child Training Tuesday- Listen In

It's Tuesday again, and time for Child Training Tuesdays. Now, last night I confessed in my Friend Making Monday, that I sometimes tune out my children with my mp3 player while I'm doing my daily chores. Although I don't always do this, it is a bad habit of mine in the mornings, while I am doing laundry or working in the kitchen. Writing this confession, reminded me of something very important in child training, listening. Now, I don't think it is always such a bad thing to listen to some music while working, or to have a little bit of time, where your kids need to not bother you, however, it is also of utmost importance that we listen when our children talk to us.

Now, some of my children talk a lot. They will talk and talk without saying anything of any real value. I think many kids are like that. This is why we mothers are often tempted to want to tune them out. But, I have found that we have to be careful not to miss the things that are really on their minds.

For example, my son Ethan is going to be 8 on the 22nd. He is my quiet kid. While his older brothers, and his younger sisters tend to talk just to hear themselves talk a lot of the time, he will often not have a whole lot to say. Because of this, we often have to wonder what is on his mind. He is a tremendously intelligent kid, but most people don't realize it, because he doesn't share his thoughts terribly often, and he has only recently started being able to handle conversations with people outside of his family.

The other day, I was putting clothes away in my bedroom, and Ethan wandered in. I think he was supposed to be doing some chores of his own, but somehow I had the werewithal, to let him come in and sit on the bed rather than kicking him out. I was glad that I did, because after awhile of just sitting there, he started talking. He talked about missing his grandma, and Haylie (who had been our foster daughter for 18 mos, before she had to leave us), and then about how he hoped that Grandpa wouldn't die. We talked for quite awhile, and I was so glad that instead of tuning him out, or kicking him out to go do his chores, I stopped to listen to what he had to say. I was able to discuss things with him that I never would have, if I hadn't taken the time to listen. I remembered through this incident that sometimes, even for my kids who talk all the time, that if we take the time to really listen, then we won't miss the really important stuff.

This is an important aspect of child training, on many levels. For one, we are teaching them that it's important to listen to others, the same way that our heavenly Father listens to us. Also, that we value the things that they have to say, and that we value them. This helps us to have their hearts, and let's them know that they can trust us to be there for them.

Believe me, I know how hard it can be sometimes to listen to our children, when it often seems that they say so many things that aren't valuable. But, we need to learn to be diligent in being ready to hear the things that are on their hearts (which for me might mean, no mp3 while I'm working). There is a time too, I think for teaching our children to use their words more wisely, and there are several Proverbs that can be used in those ends, but in the event, that they are ready to share their hearts, let's be ready to listen and respond!!

Thanks for listening to me today, and I hope that you all will participate and share with me your thoughts, ideas, stories, and wisdom in the area of child training. Is there a book that is helping you, or a specific passage of the Bible? Share it today. If you blog about it, please link back to me, and stop by to let me know. If you want to just leave me a comment, that would be great too. Have a great day, and keep those ears open!

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