To Listen is to Love by Gregory BlandSep 1st, 2010 | By Greg Bland | Category: Parenting
There is an incredible difference between hearing our children speak and listening so we may understand what they are saying, sensing and feeling. Think about yourself for a moment. To whom do you open up and share your deepest thoughts with? Who is it that you consider safe to be completely honest and transparent with? As you think about that individual, what characteristics set them apart as someone you feel safe to open your heart to?
Your list may include the following . . . .
they allow me to share without interruption
they are not-judgmental
they accept and love me for who I am
they probe deeper allowing me to explore my thoughts, ideas, dreams
they care enough about me to challenge me when needed,
they understand me,
the list may go on, but we quickly recognize that all of the above flow from one foundational characteristic, they listen to me.
The characteristics in others that create a safe environment for us to open up and share our hearts are the very characteristics our children need from us if they are to open their hearts with us.
Consider the perspective of a 17 year old girl who relayed to me her feelings from a time she knew that her father genuinely listened to her.
When I experienced my dad genuinely listening to me, it was the most amazing feelings I ever had. It was a closeness that Id never felt before. I felt respected and most importantly I felt loved. I felt like me and my dad could communicate without fear, without feeling judged or having my opinion thrown in my face. My thought exactly was, Wow, he actually cares. If I were to say how I felt in one word it would be, loved! There is no other word for it.
Listening is a gift that flows directly from our heart to our childs. When we listen, we communicate love, care and acceptance. Further, we foster an environment in which our children will most naturally open up and share with us. To listen is to love.
Your friend and pro-active parent coach.
*Gregory and Lynn Bland currently reside in Nova Scotia, Canada and are actively coaching, writing a parenting book and developing a course to train parents in Pro-ActiveParentCoaching. Additionally they are providing interim pastoring for the Maritime District of the PAOC. For more information check out Pro-ActiveParentCoaching or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.