“If you want your kids to tell you the big stuff when they’re big, listen to the little stuff when they’re little.”
This piece of advice might just be the most valuable parenting wisdom I’ve ever received. I took it to heart when my kids were young, and now that they are older, I see how important it truly is.
We parents often lament that kids don’t listen well, but how often do we fail to really listen to our kids? I’m guilty of tuning out, too, so I’m not pointing fingers here. But I’ve become cognizant over the years of the importance of setting an example for my kids when it comes to listening.
One of our most important jobs as parents is to teach our kids to communicate. But communication isn’t just about expressing ourselves; it’s also about listening to what others have to say, asking clarifying questions, and giving thoughtful consideration to what’s been said.
If we aren’t doing those things with our kids on a regular basis, we are neglecting an important aspect of communication. And eventually, that neglect will come back to haunt many parents. There are a lot of things I feel like I’ve missed the mark on as a mother, but this is one area where I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job.