How To Listen To Kids

Candy Family Communications

I’ll be the first to admit that often I don’t really listen to my kids. In the mornings they’ll be chirping away merrily about this and that while I prepare sandwiches, make breakfast, look for clothes and add to the shopping list, usually all at the same time. When I’m able to make a conscious effort to really listen to them, sometimes what I hear surprises me.

This morning my second born son, aged seven, forgot to take his violin to school despite being reminded in the morning.

“Oh dear, how many times did I ask you if you’d put the violin in the car?”

I irritatingly asked.

Poor kid, he already felt bad about it and I needn’t have made him feel worse. So I couldn’t argue when he replied:

“Twice, but I didn’t hear you.”

My four year old has an interesting way of thinking too and is showing an early grasp of maths since she loves to count with her fingers. The other day someone asked what time it is and I said it was three thirty.
“How much is thirty?” she asked.

“Well,” I stupidly explained, “thirty minutes is half an hour so it’s half past three.”

“No!” She bellowed, holding her tiny paws in the air and clearly infuriated with this answer.

“How many is it in fingers?”

Yes, it’s definitely time for me to listen more closely and think like a kid myself.

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  1. Shelley June 25, 2009 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Your children have thirty fingers? freaks :-)

  2. Tom June 25, 2009 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    My 2 year old Fraser was out in town last week with his nanny, Emma. Apparently, he suddenly stopped her and to her surprise said ‘Emma, look at that @rsehole’.

    ‘I beg your pardon?’ she replied, shocked.

    ‘@rsehole!’ he repeated, ‘Over there!’

    By this stage an old lady had also stopped to listen in on the exchange. After he’d repeated it a couple more times, Emma who is normally very composed and capable dealing with the most chellenging childcare issues admitted that she was unsure how to tackle the situation.

    Fortunately, the old lady was able to help out, realising he was pointing to the church they were passing, she leaned over to Emma and helpfully said ‘I think he means ‘castle’ dear’.

  3. Molly Kelash June 26, 2009 at 12:28 am - Reply

    How many times do I simply respond, “Really? Uh huh,” without really listening? My children are very funny and still want to talk to me, so this reminded me I’d better listen up! Thanks.

  4. Teresa June 26, 2009 at 12:36 am - Reply

    I love your blog! And I was extremely happy to find out that I had somehow overlooked 2 articles… that way I had a great little catch-up-sesh with a cup of tea!

  5. Eric Richardville June 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    This is great advice. My wife is 8 weeks pregnant and soon I will be a father for the first time. So I need all the advice I can get. Great post.

  6. Connie October 3, 2009 at 12:26 am - Reply

    They are so CUTE!!!! Love that photo.

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