Listening In

Does your kid ever appear to tune you out, only to find out they’re really listening?

When my youngest was small he LOVED the word “no.” He used it so often you’d wonder if he truly understood the meaning or was just messing with you. My husband and I decided to see how much he was listening to us by changing up the questions. “Are you hungry?” “No!” “Are you tired?” “No!” “Do you want to play with a toy?” “No!” “Do you want a million dollars?” Pause. “Yes!” So, he was listening.

Speed up to teens years, both youngest and oldest engage with my husband and I in different ways. The youngest more likely to talk and listen. The oldest more likely to nod, shake head, or grunt. Texting is sometimes the most effective way to get messages across. 😂

Though I’m unclear how often our sons actually listen to us, I was happily surprised when we were sitting in a movie and the previews were showing. Normally we tune them out, unless something about them really catches our attention. I wish I could remember which trailer it was but the preview showed the main character conflicted about what to do in a situation and clearly a future act of violence was on their mind. The supporting character said, “Don’t get even by hurting those that did wrong by you, but get even by doing right by those that helped you.” There was an audible gasp for those in the theater. It was profound in focusing on taking the high road, making choices that lead to opportunity, it was so well said and I was glad it didn’t come from my husband or I. The audible gasp by others in the theater caught my boys attention. What was just said was important perhaps even wise. They were listening.😊

How do you get your kid to listen (particularly when trying to get an important point across)? Have any parent-hacks you can share around how you got your child to listen?

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