Yesterday, my girls and I headed to the grocery store to do one of our epic shopping trips. My 9 year old is in charge of the list and reminds me of what we need as we head into each aisle. When we got to the baking aisle, I knelt down to grab some unsweetened cocoa powder.
“You don’t need that Mom. You bought one of those exact cans the last time we were here.”
“Are you sure? I really don’t think I have this, and I need it for a recipe.”
“I know we have it. I just saw it in the cupboard.”
I bought the cocoa. I also bought more macaroni and cheese despite my daughter telling me we had about 10 boxes at home. And guess what? I am now the proud owner of FIVE things of cocoa powder and about 15 boxes of mac n’ cheese.
This whole grocery store incident really got me thinking about how much I truly LISTEN to my children. Do my kids know that I trust them? Are my words, my attitude, and my actions fostering a relationship built on open communication, trust, and mutual respect?
I want my kids to know that their ideas, thoughts, and opinions matter. I want them to know that I care about the things they share with me. I want them to know that they have knowledge to share.
I started thinking about some of the behaviors I exhibit and things I say that might be sending the message that I don’t care about what my kids have to say. Do you ever find yourself asking your child what you should make for dinner or do on Saturday only to immediately reject their idea? Do you ever find yourself zoning out as they go on about their favorite video game, toy, or show? Do you tend to dominate the conversation? I find myself guilty of all of the above, and want to strive to do better. Here are a few simple changes I’ll be trying to implement:
Our kids have so much to share. If we take the time to listen to them now, we increase the chance that they will share with us when they are older. I want my kids to know that I care about what they have to say, that their ideas are valid, and that I always have time to listen.