If you have trouble with being “quick to listen,” this challenge might help you get started.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19
Being quick to listen does not always come naturally or easily to parents. In fact, I would venture to say that it takes very hard work and intentionality to practice that skill. Like any skill, it takes practice and if you feel you are not quite getting it right, then my encouragement to you is to keep practicing!
Perhaps you could start this week with a specific challenge. Try this: Every day, make a point to have at least one conversation with your child that focuses on Him. Not his chores, not his homework, not his sports team. But on Him.
Ask 2-3 questions that will give you hints into her heart and mind. For instance:
What was the best thing that happened at school today?
What’s your favorite part about baseball practice?
If you could do anything you wanted this weekend, what would it be?
The sky is the limit really to the questions you can ask that will give you insight into your child’s heart and mind. And when you ask, be sure you listen–without judgement, without critiquing.
There will be times to guide and teach; but in this conversation, I want you to explore your child’s heart.
I recently read that knowing the right questions is better than having all the right answers.
As you ask questions, your child will start to reveal parts of himself that might have stayed silent. He will know that you are interested in what’s happening in life. And she will feel your love in a new way because the bottom line is this: your interest, your time, and your listening ear communicate that you love her.
Take the question challenge this week and let me know how it goes!