“You are not being a good listening girl.” I hear myself say that to my daughter. She is not listening. She looks at me, nods her head and says “ok.” In other words, she looks like she’s listening, but to my astonishment, she isn’t.
I just told her to choose 2 short books or 1 long book to read before bed, and she handed me 2 long books. Was she testing me or do I need to get her ears checked? When I say “go upstairs,” she hears “when you’re good and ready, please feel free to amble upstairs in your own time as if you owned the place!”
So what does it mean to listen? Just because we listen, we don’t necessarily hear each other. Just because we listen, doesn’t mean we hear the same thing that someone else might hear in the same words.
They say that whatever makes you crazy in someone else, is probably something you are guilty of as well. So where am I not listening? Well! I can tell you, that I hardly listen at all. I don’t always look at my children when they talk to me. I don’t always hear every part of their stories. When my son is trying to explain to me the complex strategies he employs in his video games, I admit it – my eyes glaze over and I start thinking about things I can understand; like chocolate and foot rubs.
Maybe if I listened better, more deeply and more often, my children would listen to me? At least I could be a better role model. So off I go armed with awareness, ready to hear my world and actually listen. I’ll let you know what happens – I’m sure you’ll be “all ears.”