Something we’ve been working on in this household is our listening ears. At first I was just trying to find ways to help Emma learn the importance of listening and how it can hurt relationships when we don’t. Then I realized, our whole family could use a little more listening skills! Turns out, we all struggle with this.
With listening comes waiting our turn to talk. Emma and I are learning to communicate in a way that really doesn’t even need words! Instead of asking her to be quiet while I am on the phone, I have been asking her to tap me, or put her hand on me to tell me she has something to say. In return, I’ll put my hand on hers to let her know that I “hear” her and I will give her turn as soon as I can.
This works both ways, if she is in the middle of something I can do the same for her. We’ve also implemented the “Excuse Me”. This is something I absolutely adore and love about Emma. When we are out in public, or she is with anyone really, she says excuse me when she isn’t feeling like she is heard or has something to say. It’s adorable! But we don’t do it at home, and I sure as heck don’t do it!
That’s been changing around here. I’ve been saying excuse me to Emma when I have something to say and she gets a kick out of it. The other day I said, “Excuse me Emma, I have something important to say.” She said with a quick smirk, “Thank you for saying excuse me, but it’s not quite your turn yet. As I was saying..” Even though that little smarty pants wasn’t talking in the first place, I did what I was told and waited my turn. After all, the best way to learn is by seeing others do it.
I feel like our relationship is growing stronger and I am so thankful that all it took was a different approach. Sometimes we just have to remember that those little beings are looking up to us for answers.