Passionate About Tallahassee
and the Moms Who Live Here

Stop, Collaborate, and Listen: Engaging with Your Child

“Why on Earth aren’t you two in bed yet?!  Oh my gosh!  It is 9:45 p.m.  You have school tomorrow!  Do you ever listen…and obey?  Get to bed right now!!”

Not my finest moment.  I wish that was an isolated event, but it happens far more often than I like to admit.  Sometimes I feel like Alexa is the only one in this family that listens to me!

“Alexa, it’s bedtime.”

“Goodnight.  Sweet dreams.”

She actually said this!

I dislike the whole bedtime routine.  I’m a broken record, and I’ve come to despise a time that is really quite important and could be quite beautiful.

This mom, however, is usually done like yesterday around 8:30 p.m., though.

Mom, I wanted to talk to you, but whatever.  It’s fine.  I’ll just go to bed.  Clearly, you don’t care.

OUCH.

The thing is, I do care…very much.  My 10-year-old’s words made me slam on my brakes (also known as my runaway mouth) and pause.  I calmed down, just as Daniel Tiger instructed in one of his recent episodes (that show is not for kids alone!).  My son needed for me to be quiet and listen.

REALLY LISTEN

So many times as a mother with all of my demands and crazy schedule I find myself tuning out my children.  I’ll nod “Yes” here and “No” there or give a thumbs up or a smile when I haven’t really listened to what they are saying.

That particular night, I put my stress and my to-do list and my “me time” on back burners, went to my son’s bedroom, and sat on his floor, ready to engage him in conversation.  He had some very important things to say.  My son was experiencing some big feelings about something, and I could tell that he was a blink away from tears.  I listened, supported, encouraged, and pledged to help him to solve his problem.  We bowed our heads and prayed afterward.  It was a sweet time, just the two of us.  If you have multiple children, the one-on-one time is the good stuff, where engaging with your child truly happens.

I would have missed it entirely had I not paused and considered who I was (a mother) and why I was put on this Earth (to raise two gentlemen and a lady, shepherding their little hearts and guiding them in the ways of the Lord).

So last night was a reminder for me that I haven’t been listening.  So often I shoo them out the door or say, “Hold on a second!” or “Take a number.”  They shouldn’t have to take a number.  They’re always first in line.  While there is a balance there between my time and theirs, I must remember that they are the best things I’ll ever do.

To-Do Today:  Lean in and listen

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