The rule number three of Parenting is “active listening”. I constantly tell myself, remind myself, I must pay attention and I must listen very carefully, when my boys speak to me. I have my own reasons why this is number one priority of mine right now.
I know it sounds weird, but when my older son comes and says Mom are you listening to me, I just drop everything that I am doing, become alert, pay full attention and ask him to repeat and start seriously listening. I have heard comments from people “my god! Can you tell him to wait and talk to him later why you have to drop everything you are doing and listen and such”…. My reason simply is because he is important; he is my number one top priority. My son is very important to me as important as a value customer to business and a helluva lot more. Honestly in business if you lose one valued customer you take immediate measures how not to let that happen again. In business we might get a new valued customer but this precious son of mine is irreplaceable. What good it does if I lose communication and trust with my own child? I know I am very passionate about this subject.
I am aware we live in different times. Parenting in India when I grew up is different from parenting in America where individualism is very important and encouraged, family consists of 3-4 members and just immediate family . More over the only point of time parents can actively participate long hours and can influence a child is between ages 4-8 once he is eight he has friends and does not want to play with you (parent) all the time. I consider the amount of quality time spent between ages four and eight is very precious and absolutely important time in a child’s personality and cognitive development. This is the time me as a parent can spend maximum one to one time, teaching, listening and all that I can do to influence him. I have no TV at the moment. I got rid of it and I have no plans to get one until for a while, until my little one is well tuned to doing home work by himself until I feel we both are well bonded in terms of communication and such. May be I am a bit of a control freak mom but I have to know every detail of my child’s feelings, thoughts, opinions, day-to-day minute details of school activities. The only way I can do that is with no TV around, no mobile in my hand, my laptop shut and my child and I fully completely present, active, alert,I listen more,I talk less, he speaks more, play, “Homework is fun activity”, read books together… I still think I/Parent/Mom, is his primary teacher by the way. The school he goes to is for social interaction, fun with friends and additional help in learning. We do go on computer together too but I definitely do not want him to get addicted to playing on computer either. He browses Zoodles, pbskids. Did I read books on child development? Yes I did, out of curiosity and also part of curriculum for a study program at Massey University. Am I influenced by Jean Piaget or Lev Vygotsky and such? The answer is yes. I still read a lot on parenting techniques out of curiosity and wanting to do better. My five-year old is completely new challenge to me I hope I can do my best.
To be continued…
Here is link for: “Improving communication with your child” PDF. I found it useful.
Readers, Parents! please feel free to share your thoughts and parenting tips, I would love to hear from you…
“The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done”. -Jean Piaget.