Monday, September 9, 2013
This caught my attention today. It mirrors what I've been trying to do with my girls recently. I read something that said if you want your kids to come to you with the big things when they're older, you have to listen to the little things when they're small. This really hit me - mostly because I find myself tuning out so many of the little things three girls are constantly throwing my way. But, if I don't want to find myself on the outside looking in when they're bigger, I've got to get my act together and start listening.
I've been putting the poem above into practice in my life. When the girls come home from school, even though it's peak writing time, I stop what I'm doing so I can hear about their day and everything that happened. Do my ears ring and my brain slightly implode? Yes, but it's worth it. In the midst of all the chatter, I'm learning about my girls and what's important to them.
Emily will tell me what happened in different classes, Abby will have a report on recess, and Morgan will have a behavior report on her classmates. It's amazing how much their personalities and individual struggles come through in what they say! Abby won't have anything to say about classwork because she doesn't care about it, but she'll have a play-by-play of her interaction with friends on the playground, because that matters to her. Emily will share a wide variety of things, mostly class related unless something happened with one of her friends and she needs venting time or advice. Morgan will let me know who misbehaved in class, and what steps she took to remedy the problem.
Look what I would miss out on by tuning them out every day! By turning off my lips and opening my ears, I get to come inside their world for a little bit and see what it's like. Is it easy? No, I will honestly tell you that it's really hard, but it's so important! I'm building a foundation today that will (hopefully) sustain our relationship through the teen years when I really need to know what's going on with them. It also clues me in to trouble areas early. If there's going to be drama with a friend, sometimes it can be headed off before it's a problem. If someone's struggling with a subject in school, I can take measures here at home to help. Sometimes my girls just need to know that I am present and I understand what they're going through right now. They don't need a solution or remedy - they just need Mommy, a listening ear, and a giant hug.
I encourage you to spend some time with each of your kids and their "little things." You may need to go to a quiet place and lose your mind a little bit afterwards, but I promise you that you won't regret it!