The morning breeze was swishing past my hair. I love the walk but mostly I rejoice the dawn of a new day. That is when I noticed that little girl in uniform waiting for her school bus. She was trying to convince her mother about something. But her mother was too busy to notice, she was on her cell phone. “Not now sweety! I have a train to catch “, so saying she entrusted the girl to her maid and quickly hopped onto a waiting auto rickshaw. I didn’t miss noticing that glum look on that little girl’s face. I stood there wondering on Paul Tillich’s quote – the first duty of love is to listen. Listening to our child is one of the greatest ways of showing our love.
- Builds a bond
Every day, as I wait for his school bus to arrive, I look forward to his starting line,” Mama, you know what happened today…..” And every day that start up line makes me smile. A child is allowing an opportunity to enter his world through his words, don’t miss out on the Alice in wonderland opportunity. Believe me it transports us to a different world of thought process. The child learns to confide in you. It will become his reflex action to talk about whatever is happening around him.
“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little , they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big because, for them all of it , has always been big stuff “ – Catherine Wallace
- Learns to trust and communicate
A parent is the only window of exhaust for a child. He does not know where else to place his fears and seek recourse. If we shut down this window, it would suffocate him or her. A counsellor is required when a parent has taken a step back. A parent is a child’s best confidante.
- Open to talking about feelings
Why is talking and listening to your child so important? Because man is a social animal and we have an important tool for communication – speech. It is the only way I will know what my child is thinking. It is the only way I will know what he feels. The world outside our door can be rough, unkind or even cruel at times. Look out for warning signs, but most of all allow your child to reach out to you.
- Single parenting
As a single parent, the responsibility increases manifold. He or she would have a lot of insecurity and it is by listening and talking that you can address them. You will notice a mild discomfort, a silence, the look on his face, sooner if the child has learnt to confide in you.
- Make them feel important
“Please pick up the blue socks, son”
“Can I wear the Mickey Mouse ones, mom”, he said “Why?’ I retorted.
“Just like that, I was feeling chirpy and happy today!”
Well, I wondered if I hadn’t heard him what would have happened. He would have lost a way to be happy. Listening is not an inborn skill, it has be developed. We, as parents, take our kids for granted. Allow them to speak their mind. Their small things might teach us something new today. I was thinking of wearing the polka dot dress! Small things can bring happiness.
- Answer his questions
Albert Einstein said,” The important thing is not to stop questioning”.
A child is a new bud in this universe. He or she has so many question – some absurd, some stupid, and some crazy. We may not know all the answers, but do not dread them. One thing is sure – all their questions are worth thinking about. Allow them to read and question. For if they do not learn to question things, they will accept all that fate grants them.
- Helps a child with disabilities
Children with disabilities are low on self esteem and will power. They are more in need of that warm touch and talk. Listening and talking to them wards off their inhibitions about themselves. They learn to face the world with your strength and backing. Adopted children too, have special needs and they needs better parenting to break the barrier; to make them believe you are one of their own.
- Indirect communication
A hug, a smile, a cuddle – goes a long way in comforting a child and slaying their fears. A newborn feels the comfort of a mother’s tender love and hug, because he feels his mother’s cocoon of love. Love is beyond words, you just need to comfort your child that you will always be around.
“Talk with your children and you will hear their voice
Walk with them through life and you will feel their heart.” – Geoff Reese