My good friend Monica inspires me to be a better person and mother, yet we’re in different countries and mostly communicate via email, blog posts and the occasional phone call. At one time we were flipping a website together; talking regularly from country to country (isn’t blogging and the social media world cool?). But life happens and here I am looking for her blog posts for further inspiration and motivation. Monica doesn’t even know her capabilities for motivation and inspiration but when she wrote about just listening and not talking when it came to her first born, I paid attention.

 As a conventional teacher certified for the State of Michigan with a Masters in Early Childhood the conventional business of perhaps talking way to much is what I’ve learned in my teaching.  I’ve been hesitant of Montessori, home schooling or perhaps charter schools just because of my own “conventional” teachings.  So I read Monica’s post on listening to her daughter and I pause. I tell her this via our once every 2 or 3 month phone conversation (I miss her so) and then I practice what she preaches. I read and invest in some books to help me learn, listen and become a better parent. My husband and son leave town for some freezing cold ice fishing and it is just me and my daughter.

I listen.

No talking.

I listen.

What Do I See? What do I hear?

I see a daughter who loves to move, dance and be Josie. We head to dinner and she hears music and just moves with it – who cares who sees; she is Josie. I’m in love with what I see and wishing I could be that free; natural.
I hear a daughter who asks me to play doll house but tells me that I am dad and she is the sometimes mean mom. My heart drops. I break in half and tear up; my degree, experience and education tell me she is recreating what she knows and acting it out.

I panic.

 I freak.

She tells me that she will be the mean mom because sometimes mom scream at daddies, tell kids to stop fighting and yell. Oh my flipping goodness! I have reached an entire new level to listening and not talking. I did not sleep and replayed her comments in my head over and over.
What does this entire thing mean about “listening” to your child; what it means to hear what they say and feel and then think of the reflection piece as a parent? It means they hear and see things in their own way. You don’t think they hear, see or feel when you are arguing, feeling stressed or agitated but parents they do feel this and experience it.

I know that my marriage is not perfect (but  I love him, I do)  and I know I want my kids to hear arguing, discussions and then resolution but they process it their own way and we as parents need to reflect on this. W need to listen, hear and understand what they perceive and be cognitive of it. We need to be be cognitive on WHAT they hear and WHAT is appropriate. I’m not ashamed but I know that it is of imporatance and disucussion, diagreement and the resolution is what children should expreince and I’m glad I recognized what my little girl was experiencing. Just lisenting does work in more than one way.

  Thanks Monica.