I spotted this image on Facebook today. It’s something that strikes a chord within me, because I try to sit down and really listen to my kids as many times a day as time allows.
Do I sometimes listen with half an ear while I’m making dinner? Sure do. While driving, reading, doing laundry, or whatever? Yep. But when I ask them after school how their day was and what they did, or when we’re eating dinner, or when I’m not doing something that needs my attention and they have to tell me something now or the world will explode (hey, you never know), I try my hardest to remember to sit down and look them in the eyes and really listen and hear what they are telling me. One day they are going to want to tell me something more important (to me) than about what Spongebob said or whatever stupid thing is going on. One day they are going to want to talk to me about drugs, or sex, or bullying*, or smoking, or going on their first date, or driving, or whatever is more important than Spongebob. And I want them to know I am going to sit down, and look them in the eyes, and be 100% present in the conversation and be comfortable having that discussion with me and know I will listen and do my best to understand whatever it is. And if that starts with Spongebob, so be it.
*side note. We’ve totally had talks about bullying, sex, and drugs. And I am proud to say with more than one child. And each one was totally comfortable not only having those conversations, but starting them, and that is so crazy important. So listen up, listen good, and like Ru says, don’t fuck it up. That’s your future you’re listening to.