I was planning on writing this post listing more words that our kids need to hear. I had ideas floating about – about saying I love you and you are important and do you want to help me and you’re amazing – and yet, here I am sitting in my family room late on a Monday night with four draft posts started and no post. Want to know why? Because I truly today isn’t about the words that our kids need to hear. And I know it. I know it because earlier today Samuel kept saying play with me momma and Caleb kept telling me the same story over and over because I was distracted with whatever was urgent at that moment.
You don’t listen mom.
So today, late on a Monday night I felt convicted to write about what our kids, my kids, need more than the words that so quickly are said.
They need us.
They need to hear all of those good words – they really do – but beyond that they need us to act on what we say and to stop our agendas and to get down on their level and listen. Not just us during bedtime and breakfast and during homework and when we have a free moment.
Words matter. They truly do. But sometimes action matters more.
I could write and write and write and write about words that we need to say to our children and how we should include them in our day to day, and how valuable it is to be intentional with our children. It’s one thing to say and want to be intentional and it’s another to actually be intentional.
When we intentionally get down at their level and look in their eyes then we can begin to see the wonder of the world that they live in. And then? Then we can listen. My six year old shouldn’t have to repeat his story 4 times and be met with a mom nodding her head and not stopping.
Instead of speaking our words into them we can listen and discover what they find interesting, important, funny. lovely, scary, happy, and intriguing – we can hear their words. Sometimes we moms need to actually be just a wee bit quiet in the midst of our own busy.
Why are we on the boat? Look at the water. I like you. I sit on your lap. Why is the sky pink?
Moms, we’re busy. Our agendas fill our minds and so often we’re simply uttering the next to-do item to our kids or correcting where they’re wrong or reminding them of their chores and not really listening. You know some words our kids really need to hear?
Tell me more.
And then some silence as we listen.
You’ll be amazed at what listening teaches you. You’ll get a glimpse into their heart, their dreams, their goals, their wonders. And you? You’ll be blessed. And them? Listening tells them that they matter, that we’re invested in them, that we care about them and that they’re dreams are important. The best part? We can start anytime – learn from yesterday, from this morning, and just move forward. Grace.
Speak those listening words to them.
Then sit back, watch, and listen.
This is the second in a series called Words our Kids Need to Hear. Last week I wrote about the words I am Proud of You and why those words matter.
To read more about listening and intentional parenting consider reading Day 4 Listen which is part of my 10 Days of Intentional Parenting Series.
Wow. How incredibly TRUE and HONEST! Kids need to feel wanted, loved, important… and listening, giving them your time… that leaves a bigger impact than all the words in the world.
Such a great great post.why is it that a mothers heart is so easily guilted !? I know that I play and talk with my kids way more than the average person simply bc I am hOme with them. I stop and read books no matter what I am doing play barbies instead of folding the laundry – which ends up getting done at 11pm. Yet I still one some nights lay there thinking was it enough?
I know it is bc we love them so much/and in just a few short years they won’t be there and we will miss all those little things 🙂
Beautiful and insightful
Great post! I tried to do that when my kids and grandkids were younger. Now I see my daughters stopping and really listening to their kids, and I see them getting on their level so they can really relate and understand. I wish all moms could see how important this really is!
And may God bless you!
Such a great post! I always wince when I realize one of my kids was asking me something and I say “Uhuh” Sort of blankly, not realizing that I just answered completely off. Such a great reminder to always look them in the eye and listen. Good and thoughtful communication is so important for these little guys. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for this encouragement. “Tell me more”…I love to say that to my kids and see their little faces light up. But I know I really ought to say far more often than I do.
Oh so needed…..”tell me more”….wonderful. Going to put this into action now!
Great post! My daughter is not talking in sentences yet but she is communicating and i often need to remind myself I need to be listening closely to get what she is saying. Stop whatever I’m doing and FOCUS! Thanks!
Why is it that the simplest things are so often overlooked or forgotten? Thank you for helping me be a better mommy!
Lovely post (as always!). I’m so guilty of this and am striving to be a better listener. You are so right..yes they need to hear those things, but they also need to be heard and know they are being heard. Thank you.
It’s funny, as I read this, I was nursing my six-month-old and thought about how I can apply these words to him at such a young age. I have older kids too, but even the baby needs me to stop and look into his eyes and connect. There are times when he fusses until I get face to face with him and “listen” to his needs. It’s not enough to have him with me — he needs me to be present. I guess you can never start saying “tell me more” early enough.
Continuing to lift up prayers!
Psalms 55:16-18, 22 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. (22) Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
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Beautiful! Every parent needs to hear!