I was reminded recently just how much children tell us when we listen – through good times and bad.
One family in my Skill Building group has a five- year-old son and a four-month-old daughter. The parents have been practicing the Hand in Hand Tools for 8 months now, and have been very dedicated to using the Listening strategies with their son before and after the arrival of the new baby.
In one of the meetings we had recently they were telling the group how their son was encouraging them to let his baby sister cry, in a very caring and loving tone. When they were trying to offer her a pacifier once he specifically told them, “No, don’t give her the pacifier, it’s good for her to cry, she needs that.” (You can read why listening to babies like this can be helpful in this post, Five Ways Staylistening Is Different From Cry It Out.)
For me, this kind of reassurance from our children says that we are doing something right. Our children can really feel how, by allowing them to offload their hurts through crying, we help them feel much better. And it is through all those sessions of Special Time, Playlistening and Staylistening that we all feel good about ourselves, and connected to each other. It’s the emotional intelligence that comes with getting the emotional support that you need.
I also see that with my own daughter (14), who sometimes does Staylistening with her younger sister (9) when she cries. She will sit on the floor right next to her, gently touching her arm, and listen with as much attention and care as she can. Those are the moments I would like to cherish and always remember.
As we sometimes say at Hand in Hand, “Today we are parenting the parents of our grandchildren.” What better parents can we ask for?
You can learn how to build connection and more moments of “getting it” with your family with Ravid Aisenman Abrahmsohn in her online parenting classes.