Listen to children more

We should always try to understand why our kids do certain things before jumping to conclusions, or getting irritated and angry at them for the things they do. Children have their reasons, toddlers have them too, they just can’t explain them verbally yet. A lot of things make a world of difference to a child, no matter how silly and insignificant it seems to us. We should try to be more flexible, try to see their point, be more understanding and compassionate in general, and be willing to improvise if we have to.

Just one example that taught me a lot about listening more. My son was not 2 years old yet and he couldn’t talk well. Then, one day this spring, my husband took his lawnmower out for the first time this year. My son had a fit, he would scream and run towards it, and want to use it, and cry because we couldn’t let him, obviously. This lasted for a few hours and everyone was getting stressed and tired, especially my son.

Finally, I had enough and got the kids in the car (with my son screaming ALL the time), went to a store and bought him a toy lawnmower. I am sure some would think this was a wrong decision and the kid should have just been punished, and taught to suck it up and learn that this life wasn’t fair, right? But I just figured that this wasn’t a fight worth fighting when my child was in so much distress over a silly lawnmower situation, and realized that this must have meant a LOT to him. Much more than I could ever imagine. I decided to make it about him, and not about us.
What happened next? He “mowed” our lawn for over an hour after we got back, he refused to have his dinner because he was too excited and too happy. He insisted to take the toy inside and take it everywhere he went. He would keep it next to his bed at night, and have it next to him during meals, and take it on all our walks. Well, you get the idea. It became his best friend and made him the happiest little boy.

I am glad I listened to him. I learned to listen to my kids even more after this incident. They won’t cry and have tantrums for no reason. They always have reasons. We just need to observe and listen more carefully.

P.S. I am not advocating for buying children everything they ask for, or satisfying their every demand. My son didn’t ask for this toy, he was only trying to tell me something through his behavior. It just seemed like a perfect solution to me to the situation we were facing at that moment. There are many peaceful solutions available to us instead of punishing, yelling, or ignoring our children’s tears. You just need to stop for a moment, listen, observe, analyze, and make the best decision based on each individual situation and each child. And for everything else there is always Positive/Peaceful Parenting. 😉

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