I have been listening to my son’s feelings for several years now. He is now 7 years old, and is able to listen really well to his brother who is 6 years younger.
When our younger son was about 6 months old, we were driving in the car and he started to cry. I think he wanted to get out of the car seat. He was facing the rear, and our older son was facing forward. The baby was crying pretty hard and I thought I'd better pull over because I didn't want my older son to get irritated at the baby.
Then I heard him say in a very gentle voice to his little brother, “I'm right here. You're not alone.”
I said, “Do you want me to pull over, son?” He said, “No. He's okay. He just needs to see someone’s face while he gets some feelings out.”
I have seen the baby, who is now 21 months, get hurt and start to cry and his brother will get in real close with him, hold him, and make eye contact while he listens to him cry. He is very relaxed and in no rush to get him to stop. He also knows enough to say when he doesn't want to listen and will walk away when he sees that his brother is in good hands.
They have their moments when they don't get along, but the listening that my son has experienced has helped him be so compassionate and sweet with his brother. I am so pleased that the tools have had this effect on my son.
– Kirsten Nottleson, a mother and Hand in Hand Instructor, in Austin, TX