Lately, we've been working with Judah (3) on giving us good eye contact when we're talking to him and also giving us eye contact when he's talking to us. Eye contact shows confidence, it shows understanding and it's respectful, important stuff, in my opinion.
As we've been reminding him of this important thing, called eye contact, God pointed something out to me. He didn't just say "Hey Angela, I think maybe you aren't a very good listener lately. Just maybe, you should try to do better in that area." No, it was more like "You need to work on listening to your kids better, to give better eye contact and to really pay attention to what they're saying. You have a lot of growing to do in this area."
And, that was that. I've realized that while I'm trying to teach my three year old son to really listen to mommy, I'm not always practicing what I preach. I do the dishes while he talks, talks, and talks....nodding away and agreeing sometimes to things I don't even know I'm agreeing to. My mind runs out into la-la land and I don't always listen to him with full, honest attention.
See, when you have a three year old who's obsessed with all things motorized, sometimes it's hard to listen to the 5 minute long stories about the tractor in the field or the train ride that we'll someday take. But, it's become clear to me that, even the things that are sometimes hard to listen to (especially the long, drawn out stories), aren't any less important.
God listens to everything that we have to say, right? The good, the interesting, the ugly, the boring. It's all equal to Him and He never just smiles and nods, while day dreaming about His next task. Ouch, right?
Just because I've been called out to my weakness in this area, doesn't mean that my problem is going to instantly be fixed. I have to be intentional and work on showing my kids how much I truly care about what they're saying.
I will work on:
•Listening with my EYES. Looking at them, holding their eye contact, showing general interest on my face.
•Listening by KNEELING down to their level.
•Listening with my HEART and remembering that everything they say is important.