The first thing I thought about when I started this quest of being more present: Listening.
I don’t do a very good job at listening at times. I think my husband and my kids would tell you that. Listening is soooooo important. I knew that I wasn’t teaching my girls how to listen if I wasn’t listening well myself.
So, what am I going to do? I’m going to stop, look into their sweet eyes and LISTEN. And, I mean it. I’m going to stop and listen to them. Show them what it means to really listen. I’m going to get down at their level and look them in the eyes and really listen.
Multi-tasking is a badge we wear with honor, I know. We pride ourselves on how many things we can get done at the same time. I’m here to tell you to stop yourself and really listen. I can tell when my kids really want my attention. They reach up and actually grab my face! I love it and it snaps me out of my “let me get everything done” zone. I think if we just stop when our children (or significant others) talk to us, look them in the eyes and listen, this is where real connections happen. This is where the good stuff comes from.
Yes, I already tested this. The results were fantastic. My sassy little Alexandra told me the most amazing story about dinosaurs. Because I was listening, actively, asking her questions and we had a full on discussion about how she would care for one. We had the best time and I know she appreciated me really listening to her.
Try it and let me know how it goes. I think this will be fun. And, for a bonus, if you want a funny story about listening, read here.