The ART of Listening
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Living Life On Purpose

The ART of Listening

Have you ever had the JOY of someone really listening to you and feeling heard?  Isn't it a great feeling?  

For me, it was my  Grandmother that deeply listened to me!  It was such a GIFT! 

I have found that Listening to a child, no matter what the issue is, can make a huge difference.  

Do you wonder how to have more fun with your children? 

Do you seek a deep, rich connection with each of your children?

Are you experiencing a challenge with your child? 

LISTENING JUST MIGHT BE A SOLUTION!!

When you "really" listen and connect deeply with a child, things shift.  When they know they have been heard, they take a huge sigh of relief.  I've seen it happen over and over again. 

 

LISTENING ALLOWS FOR THE FOLLOWING: 

 

RUDENESS TO END!

WHINING TO STOP!

TEMPER TANTRUMS TO BE GREATLY REDUCED!

STRESS SIGNALS SUCH AS NAIL BITING TO STOP!

FIGHTING TO END!

ARGUING TO STOP!

STEALING TO STOP!
(Yes, this is true!)


YOU MIGHT ASK WHY DOES LISTENING SHIFT THINGS? 
If so, please read on....



 LISTENING SHIFTS THINGS BECAUSE ....

 

SHE/HE FEELS LISTENED TO!

SHE/HE FEELS IMPORTANT!

SHE/HE FEELS HONORED AND RESPECTED!

SHE FEELS SHE'S BEEN HEARD!

SHE/HE HAS BEEN ABLE TO SAY WHAT SHE FEELS!




STORY EXAMPLES:

PARENTING STORY: 

When my daughter Tami was 2 ½ she had begun hitting me with her favorite doll, Gi Gi.  Her doll, Gi Gi, was a small doll about 7 or 8 inches long.  Her legs were made out of a hard plastic material, and her body was soft.  My daughter would hold the legs, each in one hand and then swing the head of the doll toward me, which was also a hard plastic.  

Each time she’s do it, I’d say, “Be gentle, Mommy is not for hitting.”  (Gentle, was a word she learned when she was breastfeeding during her first year of life.)  Although, I really felt she knew what I was saying, this did not stop her. 

When I was in the book store one day, I picked up the book, Play Therapy, and read about an approach where you set the stage for your child to play and then allow her to play and see what emerges.  It felt like the right thing to do so I proceeded. 

I set up an environment with her little play people and a play doll house.  I chose a time where she and I were alone in the house.  When the time was right, I brought her into the setting.

She began playing.  It’s been over 35 years, so I’ve forgotten all the details, as to my exact words.   However, I do recall, I asked her questions to draw her out and into sharing what was ‘in’ her.

It only took her about 15 minutes of playing before she started telling me that she was mad at me. (She had been talking well since 18 months go her vocabulary was amazing) She's also say:  “Mommy is  bad!”  I was shocked! However, I continued letting her talk. She said that I had said she had done something that she hadn’t done and I was a “bad mommy”!   

I wish now that I could recall the exact details but I can’t.  I do remember that I apologized to her saying that I was sorry and next time I would listen more. 

She was happy
and never hit me again with her doll!

 
NOTE:   When you go through the 10 Minute Miracle process, (ECOURSE BELOW) as I did with my daughter, your child may become very angry at you.  If this happens hold on to your "intention" and allow her to express all of her feelings.  In order to get to the bottom of an issue the anger must be expressed.



CLASSROOM STORY:

One year in my 1st grade classroom, a new child had come to the school.  I'll call her Sandy.  She was a gorgeous little girl.  However, she had a difficulty getting along with the other children. She was not well liked.  And often she would take things from the other children.  When she was around then, pencils, erasers, bags of chips, etc. would turn up missing. 




She would often ask to help me at recess or after school. She was an excellent helper and never took anything from my desk when we were together alone.  When we were together, we'd make small talk. She had a much older sister as I recall and she would talk about her at times as well as telling me about her cat.  

In talking to her Mother I discovered she was a single mother and had some challenges with Sandy at home as well. 

Mom and I worked together, given her our attention, love and showing an interest in her.  Gradually things shifted.  She'd get along better with the children. And then nothing turned up  missing when she was around.  By the end of the year, all was well.

Years later I met the Mom while shopping and asked about Sandy. Mom  said she was doing well and loving school.


                 ECOURSE ON LISTENING IS         AVAILABLE!


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MY STORY: 


Since I was 18 years of age, I've seen how the "ART of Listening" changes lives, although I never "named" the process until years later.

Even with the stories above, I never gave much significance to them, until years later when I decided to share my experiences from parenting and teaching.    

 However, it was stories such as this, that have happened time and time again, that truly made me honor this process and eventually call it:


The ART of Listening:  The 10 MINUTE MIRACLE!

And I truly feel listening is a miracle!


Happy Parenting...
Happy Teaching...
Happy Living...

sharon
 




8 Comments to The ART of Listening :

Comments RSS
Jeannette on Saturday, November 28, 2015 1:24 PM
Sharon, I find this to be true with adults and children alike. Years ago I worked as a teacher's aide with middle school students. Many who were having problems at school were also having issues at home. Sometimes the kids would confide in me. I could feel their loneliness that came from not being heard. Much of my work with adults today deals with the need to be listened to and validated. This is such a vital part of feeling understood. It is so reassuring to know someone has listened to you and let you share what is in your heart. It's something we all need. Thanks for another thoughtful post. I loved your story about Sandy.
Reply to comment
 
sharon on Monday, November 30, 2015 11:58 PM
Thank you Jeannette for all that you shared here. How wonderful the children knew they could talk to you. YES, everyone needs a listening ear. And this illustrates so clearly that it does take a village to raise our children. And that is wonderful that you can do that today for adults. I'm glad you enjoyed the posting about Sandy. Although, the shift was so gradual and nothing "big" had to be done, I think it does illustrate the point that things can shift with attention, love and listening!


Tomar on Saturday, November 28, 2015 2:33 PM
Sharon, I love the story of your daughter and how you helped her release her anger towards you. Interestingly, this is exactly the same (or very similar) to work i do with "inner children." Being listened to is so much more important than we realize. Often it is the listening itself, not even the content of what is shared, that can completely change a situation. Same goes for couples. This is great work you're doing.
Reply to comment
 
sharon on Tuesday, December 01, 2015 12:07 AM
Thank you so much for you comment here Tomar. I'm glad you enjoyed the story about how I listened to my daughter. It was a powerful time for both of us. And when we aren't heard as a child, our "inner child" still needs that doesn't it? How wonderful that you are able to do that for your clients!


sharon on Tuesday, December 01, 2015 12:15 AM
That is wonderful Lesa that you knew you just needed him to listen and not to do anything else. Asking for what we need is SO important. Great job! Conscious Loving by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks has a number of wonderful exercises in it for listening to one another. It' so interesting, that I just pulled this book out today to share with a group at my home, so thought of it now as I'm responding. Listening is such an important key to a relationship as in asking for that which we need.


Pernilla Lillarose on Sunday, November 29, 2015 12:14 AM
Oh, Sharon, Listening deeply and with real interest and care is one of the most beautiful skills we can acquire. We ALL want to be heard and because of that nobody is really listening - always waiting to say something so we can be heard. As a Hakomi Therapist I learned to listen to the story teller instead of the story and that changes everything. People feel heard and suddenly a contraction inside can start softening. Thank you for sharing such an important article!
Reply to comment
 
sharon on Tuesday, December 01, 2015 12:01 AM
I do think you are SO correct Pernilla when you say that there are SO many people who want to be heard, that no one is listening. Very sad! That is wonderful that you are able to do this for adults in your work. How fortunate your clients are!


Lesa on Monday, November 30, 2015 12:03 PM
I've actually been working on this issue with my boyfriend and helping him to understand that when I'm hurt or upset, I don't need him to take responsibility for it or even agree with me... all I need is to feel listened to. Feeling heard is all we ever really want.
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