I just read an interesting Goop column on child rearing. The main point that I got out of it is to really listen to your child, no matter how old they are. Listening to your child validates them and gives them self worth. It also helps you as a parent to better understand your child. I am always striving to be a better parent. I know listening is an area that sometimes I excel at and other times I fail at miserably.
Last night my daughter curled up in bed with me and told me about her friends at dance class and how one friend isn’t being that nice lately. I sat and gave her my full focus and really listened. I felt like a super star mother.
However, earlier in the afternoon, she created this beautiful pirate map with a lot of detail. She crumpled and put little tears in the paper to make it look old and wrote a little story to go with it. When she showed it to me, I looked at it quickly, said it was lovely and went back to what I was doing. She put it down beside me and said, “I will leave it here for you to look at when you have time Mommy.” I felt like a big jerk. I wasn’t really listening.
That in a nutshell is the constant struggle of motherhood for me. I always hope that I am doing an okay job and consciously try to be better, have more patience, be a better listener, and of course be more fun.