I am the mother of two wonderful boys ages seven and four. My seven year old talks non-stop and my four year old rarely speaks. Throughout the last seven years I have listened to whines, cries, screams, unintelligible words, countless stories of imaginary friends and their adventures, jokes that make no sense, and unending discussions on just about everything. I believe in listening to my children. Not just nodding and pretending I’m listening, but sitting down and really listening. As a mother it is my job to make them feel as though they are worth my time and what they have to say really means something to me. Don’t get me wrong I am in no way a perfect mother. It is very difficult to give them my undivided attention all the time, but when I do sit down and really listen I see how happy and important it makes them feel.
When I see the excitement in my son’s eyes as he is telling me a story or planning out his next experiment, I get equally excited for him. Often times I am surprised to find out that I have learned from him. He has taught me to slow down and pay attention to the small things in life. I have unknowingly become an expert on insects, frogs and lizards. No creature that crosses our path goes by without being identified and observed. His thirst for knowledge and excitement about the world around him inspires me to learn more about these things too.
Sometimes listening doesn’t involve any words at all. My four year old isn’t much of a talker, but he speaks by his actions. Whether it be in a new song he has learned, playing race cars, or making up a silly dance, he feels special when I am giving him my undivided attention. Sometimes I even find that I enjoy a good matchbox car race. It brings out the kid in me, and allows me to relax and just enjoy my son’s company. It is so exciting to see him open up and show me his wonderful personality. These moments with my son will ultimately help define who he is and who he becomes. It is my hope that he will grow up feeling like he is special and believing that his sweet little voice should be heard.
I want my boys to grow up knowing that they are important, and are worth my time. I want to encourage their creativity and inquiring spirits. It is my hope that my boys will grow up to become happy, confident, men who aren’t afraid to make their voices heard. I believe in listening to my children.
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