A friend of mine, a wonderful woman with a very positive attitude and with whom I had been doing a listening partnership, wanted to talk about a situation with her son’s class teacher. Her son had been coming home unhappy almost every day. She is a parent who volunteers in the classroom. She felt that the teacher had identified some children as her favorites, with her son not being among them.
My friend's son was in a combination class with a single teacher for two grade levels. At the end of the first year of her being in this class, she asked for a change of class because her son had been so unhappy. At first, she met with a lot of criticism from the teacher and resistance from the principal.
My friend was naturally very distressed about the whole situation. During a listening partnership session with me, she was able to release a lot of her anger and upset feelings about this issue and was able to cry about this. I stayed and listened to her feelings. And it seemed to have had the right effect!
Within a few days, she had figured out exactly how she was going to approach the situation with the class teacher and the principal. She rehearsed what she was going to say and discussed it with the teacher and principal with self-assurance and confidence. She finally did get what she wanted; her son was moved to a different class.
Sometimes we don't realize the effect we can have on people, simply through our listening (or not listening). I was moved by how a little listening can move mountains.
—Certified Parenting by Connection Instructor Usha Sangam
You can learn more about Parenting by Connection in the Listening to Children booklet set.