Listening to your children is a skill you begin using as soon as your child speaks and lasts for a lifetime.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19
The instruction in this verse to be quick to listen doesn’t just apply to family disagreements or spousal fights. Being “quick to listen” is a skill that should be used in every area of your family life, including when your children are very young.
Someone once told me, when my kids were little, that if I listened to them when they were young, they would keep talking as they grew up. My kids are now 23,26, and 29 and you know what? That someone was right!
It’s not always easy to really tune into what our kids are saying. Listening to small children is something we tend to do while we are multi-tasking. Some of them go on and on and on and often they don’t make any sense. You may think, “I don’t have to listen, they are rambling on about nothing.”
Maybe. Maybe not. But it is in those moments when we think that they are bumbling on about things that may not seem earth-shaking that we should still be listening. There are gold nuggets in there.
Sometimes even older kids ramble on about things that may not seem important: Clothes, boys, girls, movies, TV shows, friends. Nothing important, really.
Or so it seems.
But there are gold nuggets in there too.
That is one reason I used to love driving my kids and their friends to away games and tournaments. I heard countless conversations about seemingly “nothing,” but in truth there were gold nuggets in there.
I am not going to tell you what those hidden treasures are. That’s for you to discover. But I will tell you this: those gold nuggets are gifts to help you understand your child and maybe even yourself better. There’s a reason God endorses child-like faith–we can learn something from it!
I challenge you as you go through this week, to tune in to your kids. All ages. Listen to them when they are little, when they are teens, and when they are grown up.
Let’s all practice the discipline of being quick to hear!
If you need guidance or help with parenting issues, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am a life coach with 29 years of parenting experience and I would love to help you with the challenges you are facing.