Happy Tiny Tuesday! Our “mom talk” topic for today is listening to our kids. Like really listening to our kids. As I continually grow into my role as a mom of two little girls, I find I am learning one hard lesson after another. I often think I’m doing a great job and then one little thing halts me in my tracks and humbles me. My kids make it glaringly obvious that I am not perfect and cannot do this whole parenting thing without God. What I love about this little Fleurdille Family we’ve created is that I can share the good and the struggles with you guys! I really do feel like the best way to grow is to share and learn from others!
In regards to today’s topic, I’ve actually read a good deal about allowing kids to feel and express themselves. However, it’s so easy to forget to put that knowledge into action. For example, have you realized how often we tell our kids how they are feeling instead of asking them? I’m talking about those moments when we say things like “no, you’re not hot, it’s not hot in here,” or “no honey, you’re just tired.” Or after they fall saying “you’re okay.” The whole “you’re okay” line was one of the first eye openers for us because every time we tell Abby she’s okay, she promptly says, “no I’m not.” How can we argue that? She may not be feeling okay in that moment even if she really is okay physically.
What gave me pause though on this subject was something that happened last night. Emma Grace was really tired yesterday and by the time bedtime rolled around, she was all tears when Abby got to pick out the book we were going to read and she didn’t. She got real worked up and as Travis and I sat there with her we tried everything we could to get her to stop crying. We kept telling her to take calming breaths and were trying over and over to get her to do them with us; she wouldn’t. None of it was working. In fact, she was just getting more and more upset and frustrated. Finally, I told her to go into our room, take a pause and have a little time alone.
Five minutes later I walked into our room and y’all, my heart melted. She was sitting calmly on our bed, taking a calming breath and saying “number 6.” Then she took another calming breath and said “number 7.” You guys, she was calming herself and doing exactly what we asked her to do, except she was doing it alone, quietly. It was one of those “duh” moments for me. Duh she needed to be alone. I know that about her. I know she often needs some quite time or alone time during her day. Almost daily she’ll retreat into her room for 5 minutes or so to be alone and play in quiet. So, it makes total sense that she wasn’t calming down in a room of Abby crying and two adults telling her what to do over and over. She needed to remove herself and be alone.
It’s moments like last night that just make me pause and think of how often I’m not really listening to my kids. How often am I just telling them what to do or how they’re feeling instead of listening to what they are really saying? Do you guys ever have these moments? How do you handle them? Are there things you do to help you really listen to your kids? I am all ears for advice!
Love you guys!