How often do we listen to our kids? I mean REALLY listen.
It’s so easy in the busyness of our days to give a casual glance or an automatic “Umm Hmm” when our kids are talking to us. After all, while they’re rambling on, we’re cooking, cleaning, studying, chauffeuring and working on the answer to world peace, all at the same time.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about teens, it’s that they aren’t overly excited to run home and tell you about their life unless they’ve just made the varsity team. They’ve been raised in a world where conversations are typed, hugs are virtual and feelings are expressed in emoji’s. Verbal communication takes time and effort and they’ve got better things to do.
When your youth starts talking about their day, without prompting, something important is going on in their life. If it weren’t of some significance, they wouldn’t be talking. They’re likely looking for some parental advice that they’re way too cool to ask for and it may come in the form of “asking for a friend.” So dig in, question them and ask them how the situation they’re describing makes them feel.
It’s time to “stay woke” parents. Let’s put down our phones, turn off Netflix and tune into our kids. Let’s capture those rare moments when they’re communing with us to find out what’s causing them to acknowledge we’re in the room. Because if we don’t show them they’re important, someone else will, and whose influence would we rather they have?
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