Monday, January 18, 2010

Listening To Our Children (Part 2)

Listening To Your Children (Part 2)
By Jay Younts

Before you can answer your children, before you can say things that are helpful, you must first listen. It is hard to be a good listener. But Proverbs 18:13 says parentspeak is a shame to you. Parentspeak is the opposite of good listening and, therefore, the enemy of good, productive, everyday talk. But be encouraged! Proverbs 18:15 has the cure for parentspeak.

“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seeks it out.”

God wants you to have active ears. That is why listening is hard. We aren’t accustomed to listening aggressively. We tend to have active mouths, but not active ears. If your ears seek out knowledge about your children, they can provide you with the knowledge you need for productive, everyday talk with your kids. This is what Proverbs 18:15 is teaching you. As you and your children walk, run, drive and sometimes stumble along the road of life that Deuteronomy 6 talks about, your ears should be on “seek mode.” It is difficult to listen and talk at the same time. If you want better communication with your children you must have ears that seek out knowledge about them. Are you actively listening to your children? Do you ever take time just to sit in the next room and listen to them when they are not aware you are listening?

You can do this! It is called “active listening.” If you are in a room full of people and they say your name, you automatically tune everything else out and strain your ears to hear what is being said about you. Active listening is a choice. You must choose to listen to what your children are saying. Listen for the things that they don’t say as well as what they do say.

For now, take a moment to evaluate how much parentspeak you actually do. How much genuine listening do you actually do? As you care for your children they will want you to know their thoughts and they will tell you.

Application Questions

1. Do you recognize any ways in which you practice parent-speak?

2. Building on your answer to the first question, what would you say instead of parentspeak at your next opportunity? Write out actual responses.

3. In your conversations with your children, what is the percentage of time you listen? What is the percentage of time you talk?

4. Do you know of any issues your child wants to discuss with you-but you haven’t had time yet?


Rachel and Family said...

What?? I wasn't listening.


Great article!!

Donna B said...

Wonderful article!

Wylie said...

So true that itis easy to have an active mouth & not so easy to have active ears! I have been thinking a lot about that lately. About listening to God - listening to others... Amazing what we will hear & learn if we will be still & listen!

La Familia Garcia said...

Gulp. I love that we have a perfect example of a father who hears our every word, knows our every thought, and loves us more than we can comprehend.

Cat said...

How about this thought about our Father? We KNOW He listens to us, He speaks rarely to us. Hmmmmm

Regina @VestPocketFamilyFarm said...

No matter the age, listening to someone is an act of love, putting aside the self to concentrate on them. I so agree.

His bondservant said...


This is a great article. Something all parents need to be reminded included! It is so easy to speak and so much harder to really listen. I purposely try to look my children in the eyes when I am talking to them, because sometimes I can be so busy as a Mommy that I don't. Thanks for the encouragement!


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Oh, this is so funny. As I was trying to read this post, Josiah was talking to me the whole time about hawks and eagles. It took me forever to get through this post because I was trying to listen to him. What is your advice for listening to a kid that never stops talking;)

christy rose said...

Lord please give me active ears!

Michelle (She Looketh Well) said...

These are great Stacie! I have printed them up for Brian to read to. This describes us to a 'T' I am ashamed to admit! Very convicting words, thanks for sharing them.

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