Are you listening?!?
I don’t think you heard what I said?
Are you even listening to me?
Why did you do that? I asked you to X?
Stop wriggling about….put that down.. I’m talking to you. Why are your eyes going like that?
With so many times in our day when we are giving instructions why were we getting so exasperated with the whole process?
Because it was clear during each interaction that they boys weren’t really listening. Of course I had interrupted them from what ever they were doing and just started talking at them about something I felt was important. Naturally, they should process and be able to do. Wrong! I have no idea where or why I had that opinion since it doesn’t work with my friends, my spouse or people I meet. Yet somehow I’d slipped into this habit.
There’s all sorts of social rules we learn about getting attention, waiting our turn to speak/reply/respond and remember to do the thing we’ve just talked about. After a really frustrating time it came down to many of the run ins we were having revolved around not listening to the instructions and doing other things while the instructions were being given.
We don’t think we were giving a long 10 step instruction plan or lecture that the kids tuned out to, but maybe we did use too many words. We did get down to their level and show and share but maybe we went too quickly without really having their attention.
Through our observation things weren’t working well and we needed to teach them how to listen better and we needded to learn how to give instruction better.
As lifelong learners and testers we’ve not got it all sussed but here’s what’s made a change in the home. Yes you’re right it’s not perfect we don’t acheive 100% compliance and nor would we. Children are learning too and we expect that this process of learning to listen will take time and not be as we want it each time.
It doesn’t stop us from giving them every opportunity to practice and improve their listening skills. Besides their partners, bosses and clients and future friends will appreciate them more if they grasp some better concept of listening.
Come back on Wednesday to see some ideas on what to do. Go here