“My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (James 1:19)
Parenting is definitely not for the soft-hearted or the timid. It is one of the greatest adventures a person can be a part of. From the birthing of a little one to the process of nurturing development, there seems to be constant change within the child and the parent.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned, and one I have to continually remind myself to do, is “listen.” When our children are infants, we love listening to the little noises they make.We are especially attentive to their first words which, in my home,were “Dad Rules”. Yet as they grow, children begin to develop a sense of individuality and things begin to change for us as adults. The once cute noises that made us go “awe” now have turned to “no”, “but, but, but!” , “I don’t care” or better yet the “It’s not fair”. During these times as parents we have a few options: turn into the incredible hulk and bash them all, do a vocal workout and see who can get the loudest, or sit back and do nothing and tune them out.
We may be guilty of using one of the above scenarios or all of them at times. However,there is a valuable lesson to learn about communication that can help us better connect with our kids. As kidsdevelop they need guidance, and as we learn to listen to them we can begin to allow them to voice their opinion. We can learn what is going on in their world, like the temptations, struggles, and peer pressure they are experiencing. We can also give them direction by teaching them to be truthful (by discerning untruths). As a parent I am amazed when I can truly see my little guys develop and interact. It puts a smile on my face and I thank God that I am able to be a part of it.
I have to work on it daily; for the business of life and the pressures that follow at times rob me of this excellent opportunity to be a part of this great adventure. So lesson number one for all of us today is: “Listen.” Prioritize it and let God do the rest.