Tag: listening

Q&A with Rachel Macy Stafford – Part II

I’m delighted to return to the conversation with Rachel Macy Stafford, blogger and author of the book Hands Free Mama and the soon-to-be released Hands Free Life. Rachel talked about her first book in last week’s blog post, so now we’ll turn our attention to Hands Free Life, which will be released September 8.
Paul: Rachel, tell us what inspired you to write your newest book, Hands Free Life.
Rachel: During a late-night chat with my younger daughter when she was sick, Avery said something that moved me deeply. I’d just miscalculated my mother’s age, and my daughter lifted her hands in front of her face. She spread her small fingers as far as they could go and said, “I’m keeping track of life.”
It was such a beautiful term that became almost magical given the way she extended her two free hands. But what made the hairs stand straight up on my arms was the fact that I knew exactly what it meant. Keeping track of life is knowing you’re on your true path toward personal fulfillment. It’s being at peace with who you are and how you are living. It’s placing your head on the pillow at night knowing you’ve connected with someone or something that made your heart come alive. It’s investing in what really matters, understanding full well that managing life is the tendency, but living life is the goal.
What began as small steps to change my distracted, perfectionistic, and hurried existence (that I described in Hands Free Mama) grew into a transformed perspective—one that profoundly altered the way I made decisions, interacted with my loved ones, focused my attention, and spent the precious minutes and hours of my days. Intentional actions to grasp what really mattered evolved into living a life that really mattered. Living a Hands Free life is more profound than putting down the phone or burning the to-do list. It’s about deep, lasting, permanent change. In that moment with Avery, I knew I needed to share what I’d learned with the world.

Paul: Geoff Colvin advocates in his newest book, Humans Are Underrated, that empathy is the critical twenty-first-century skill. In your book, when you are describing your daughter’s ability to notice, it reminded me of raising kids with the ability to relate to others. Do you see the same connection? And how can we train our kids to notice or to be empathetic?
Rachel: Yes. I also see a connection between noticing and the ability to relate to others. That is one of the reasons why I believe we must be aware of our tech use. Our electronic devices severely impact our ability to notice the beauty around us, as well as notice human emotion and need. Our children’s tech use is likely to resemble our tech use—what we do with our device at the dinner table, while driving, or while in the company of others is likely what they will do. If we are not “noticing” the world around us, we are teaching our children not to notice either.
One of my most effective strategies for maintaining healthy boundaries between real life and technology is to envision what will make my children feel fulfilled in the future. And it comes down to this: If I want my children to appreciate the softness of a beautiful animal, I must take time to appreciate soft, cuddly creatures. If I want my children to look into the eyes of those who speak to them, I must look into my children’s eyes and listen to their words. If I want my children to extend a helping hand to someone in need, I must notice the needs of others and act upon my heart’s calling to help. I can’t expect the world to show my children that life is best lived with open hands, open eyes, and an open heart. It must come from me.
Lastly, I believe we must incorporate sacred pauses in our daily schedule so there is time to notice the everyday miracles around us. If we are constantly hurrying our children and ourselves through life, we miss the opportunity to notice what is most important. We limit our ability to see the emotions in the faces around us.
Paul: Like you, I’m an advocate of not only spending attentive, quality time with our children, but also of conversing with them in a way that shapes not only them but their view of the world. How have you found that language, words, and conversations shape our children?
Rachel: I’ve found that by commenting on a child’s positive actions, rather than what he or she is doing “wrong,” we can positively impact their life. This is the approach I used when I taught students with behavior disorders. These were children who came to my program after being kicked out of many classrooms and many schools. They came to me so hopeless and so down on themselves. I built them back up by seeing the good, any good, I could find. After all, they’d only heard the bad. I could only imagine what the little voice in their head sounded like, so I tried to create a new voice, a more positive one. Finding a positive with children who were so challenging was not always easy, but it was possible. I said things like:
“Wow! You made it from the pencil sharpener to your seat while keeping your hands to yourself! That is something to be proud of!”
“You wrote your name on your paper. Look how neatly you wrote the letter L! Take a moment and celebrate yourself!”
“You are here. I am so glad you made it school today!”
It was quite amazing how the children began speaking to themselves once the teachers in our classroom and I began pointing out every positive action rather than every negative. By the end of the year, these children were learning, growing, and cooperating in ways no one ever expected. I’ve been using this “Notice the Good” approach with my daughters and even myself and seeing promising results.

Paul: As I read your book, I found myself noting the phrases that you’ve used with your children—phrases that many parents might adapt and begin expressing to their children. For example, I love “I’m right here” as a way of comforting. I also like “No matter what happens, you can always come home.” What phrases or statements do you think might have the most impact on our children?
Rachel: When I began my Hands Free journey five years ago, I did it to free myself from the external distractions, internal pressures, and unrealistic societal standards that prevented me from truly living. But there was an unexpected result: As my distracted ways lessened, my loving ways increased—tenfold. For the first time in my life I saw a direct correlation between my undivided presence and my ability to love my people in ways that most nurtured them. When I was in their presence, I studied them. I listened to them. I watched their faces when I used certain words and tones. I noted what words brought sighs of relief … surges of confidence … and glows of acceptance. I vowed to say those words more. I also noted what words brought shame … disconnection … pain … and silence. I vowed to say those words less. Over time, I collected quite a powerful list of words that helped me love my people in ways that helped them thrive. Like sunlight and water to a plant, these words nourished the deepest parts of their human hearts and fostered growth in all areas of their lives. Hence, I called them Soul-Building Words:
You make my day better. 
You make my life better. 
I love spending time with you.  
Seeing your face makes me happy. 
I’m listening. 
This time is all yours. 
How can I be a better _____ (parent, friend, spouse) to you? 
Nothing is more important than being with you right now. 
How can I help? 
Take your time. You don’t have to rush.  
Keep going. You’ve got this. 
Be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can.   
Mistakes mean you are bravely learning and growing. 
It may not be the outcome you hoped for, but I noticed your effort and it was quite remarkable. 
I believe in you.
Paul: Please tell us about the idea, connective silence.
Rachel: I first encountered “connective silence” on a vacation with my husband. I purposefully brought a small suitcase so I wouldn’t be weighed down with choices and excess. So I packed hats and headbands instead of curling irons and blow dyers. I packed blank notebooks and pencils instead of devices and calendars.
In those hours, sitting side by side in beach chairs, my husband and I shared moments of silence. And I called it “connective silence” because in those conversation lulls, I didn’t check out, reach for the phone, the TV remote, or a few pages of unfinished work. That’s when I realized that the greatest opportunity to connect to what really matters sometimes lies in the silent spaces of our day. If we can resist the urge to fill every minute with noise, excess, and activity, we open the doors of our heart, mind and soul to let the joy come in.
Paul: This is my favorite sentence in the book: Having a parent who listens creates a child who believes he or she has a voice in the world. Rachel, can you please expand on this?
Rachel: From first grade through my senior year in high school, I had afterschool chats with my dad at his campus office. I can’t remember a time when he said he couldn’t talk right now, even when he was working on his dissertation, dealing with challenging faculty issues, or facing budget cuts. When I spoke, my dad was all there.
My dad wasn’t perfect. He lost his temper sometimes. He worked too much. He experienced periods of depression. But even through the rough patches, my dad always listened to me. He was never too busy, too distracted, or too desolate to hear my thoughts and opinions. As a result, my dad gave me the confidence to speak up—to speak up in dangerous situations … to speak up for others … to speak up for myself. In situations that I could have suffered in silence, I didn’t. Why? Because my dad listened to me as I grew.
So despite what the critics say—that giving a child our undivided attention creates a child who thinks the world revolves around him or her—I believe otherwise: Having a parent that listens creates a child who believes he or she has a voice that matters in this world.
Rachel Macy Stafford is the founder of www.handsfreemama.com where she provides simple ways to let go of daily distraction and grasp what matters most in life. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama. Her highly anticipated book, Hands Free Life, releases on September 8! It is a book about living life, not managing, stressing, screaming, or barely getting through life. Through truthful story-telling and life-giving Habit Builders, Rachel shows us how to respond to our loved ones and ourselves with more love, more presence, and more grace. Those who pre-order Hands Free Life from now until September 7 will receive the FREE e-book of Hands Free Mama. Click here to learn more about the book and pre-order bonus.

Interview with Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama: Part 1

I’m honored that Rachel Macy Stafford, author of the blog and book titled Hands Free Mama as well as the soon-to-be released Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More, found some time to speak with us about her books.
I love Rachel’s writing—partly because she is a gifted storyteller using everyday life to make salient points. Partly because Rachel’s thinking about raising children parallels mine—that noticing and paying attention and conversation all make a difference. And partly because Rachel is writing about what we all know but rarely act upon—that a chaotic, distracted, technology-filled life isn’t going to be fulfilling.
Changing this is as simple as having one or both of Rachel’s books on your night stand and taking a few minutes each evening to remind yourself of what matters and how to go about making it matter.
Rachel’s first bestseller, Hands Free Mama, asked a wonderfully simple question: “What do you want your children to remember you having in your hands.” So I thought we’d start with her first book.
Paul: Rachel, I’m sure you have hundreds of stories about the impact of your first book on parents and children. What three or four ideas could parents embrace and experience wonderful results?
Rachel: Here are four ideas I advocate in the first book:
1. Give an undistracted goodbye. The day I realized my family’s loving goodbyes were getting lost in the morning rush was painful, but I knew I had the power to bring them back. My daughter made a sign for the door that said: “XOXO Before You Go.” Those ten seconds have become the most important minutes of our day, even as my children age. Before you part ways today, hold your loved ones for at least ten seconds. Hug them tightly. Inhale their scents. Tell them you love them no matter what happened in the frustrating or hurried minutes before that goodbye.
2. Greet them with a “Sun Delay.” When you greet someone with happiness, excitement, interest, and love, the message you are sending is: You are loved. A few years ago, I decided that showing my family I was happy to see them was very important to me. I made a vow to let go of my distractions long enough to cause a “Sun Delay,” which means: No matter what I am in the middle of doing … no matter how inconvenient it is to look up … no matter how ‘busy’ I think I am, when my loved ones walk into the room or return after a separation, the world is going to stop for a moment so I can shine love into their eyes and hearts. Today, let your loved ones see AND feel how much you love them when you are united.
3. Establish a sacred daily ritual. Cherishing every moment in life is simply not possible. There are jobs to do, bills to pay, deadlines to meet, and obligations to fulfill. But there are moments in between life’s obligations when we are in the presence of our loved ones that can be made sacred. Meals at the kitchen table, caring for pets, walks around the block, morning snuggles, afterschool chats, and nightly tuck ins are daily rituals that all hold the potential to be all there—no distractions, no interruptions, just love. In those sacred minutes, relationships can be strengthened, lifelong memories can be made, and peace can come to your frenzied soul.
4. Go public. To increase accountability, announce to family members or a trusted friend your aspiration to live a less-distracted life. A public declaration might sound like this:
I am making an effort to refrain from using the phone while I am driving. I may need your gentle reminders. Would you help me?
I am making an effort to put away my devices from six o’clock to nine o’clock each night. Would you like to do this together?
I am making an effort to use a peaceful response in times of stress and overwhelm. Can you put your hand on your heart when I am hurting you with my words or tone as a reminder of my promise?
Paul: A recent study concluded that a critical part of raising successful children was giving them the ability to converse. How can parents do this?
Rachel: Within just a few weeks of starting my Hands Free journey, I was able to identify several red flag behaviors that prevented me from meaningfully loving, living, and listening. When I found myself doing these particular actions, I said to myself, “Whoa. This is not a behavior I want to see my child imitate. This is not how I want to be remembered when I’m gone.” Part of the vow was this line:
Today I want you to remember my listening face—not my fake listening face, the one that nods robotically and looks right through you. Today I want to love you by listening, really listening.
Out of all the behaviors listed in the vow, the most important one to me is The Listening Face. My dad gave me the gift of The Listening Face throughout my childhood and tumultuous teen years. Looking back now, I am quite certain it saved my life. The fact that my dad valued what I had to say—no matter how unimportant or trivial—gave me the confidence to speak up even in the most intimidating and dangerous situations. It gave me the ability to speak up for my beliefs, my dreams, and for those who could not speak up for themselves. My dad’s listening face gave me a voice.
Here are five practical ways parents can encourage children to converse and demonstrate that their words hold value:
1. Make conditions right: Push aside distractions. Stop doing anything else. Be still. Look into their eyes.
2. Preface the moment with, “I’ve been looking forward to this time together.”
3. Decide there is nothing more important than hearing their words. Decide listening is the most important thing you could be doing right now.
4. If home is too distracting, step outside … walk the dog … grab a quiet table at the coffee shop … go to the library … wash the car. Find quiet spaces where distraction cannot sabotage your moment.
5. Ask a follow-up question about something he or she said in an earlier conversation. This will build trust—trust that you listen, remember, and value what he or she says.

Paul: What is it that you would like every mother and father to be aware of when interacting with their children?  And perhaps the answer is different for fathers and mothers.
Rachel: I would like every parent to be aware of the power of the three-second pause. In the midst of a challenging moment with a loved one, I find it helpful to do a three-second preview of what might result from a hostile reaction. Although I may feel like yelling, controlling the situation, or sighing in exasperation, I have done it enough times to know the result of that choice will not be positive. I will hurt someone. I will not bring reconciliation to the issue. I will create fear. I will experience regret that could last for minutes, days, and even years. I will shut down future communications with my child so that she learns to confide in someone who is less reactive and judgmental. Or worse, she will not tell anyone when she’s in trouble and try to go it alone.
Taking a three-second pause enables us to choose love over anger, hurry, condemnation, shame, or sarcasm. And when love speaks, we are all better heard. And when love looks, we are all better seen.

Paul: What are your best ideas for breaking free of technology?
Rachel: I once wrote, “When you live life distracted, you’re missing more than life.” So celebrate the fact you’ve decided you don’t want to miss the moments in life that matter, and then use these strategies to curb tech use and engage in real-life moments:
1. At least one day of the weekend, give yourself a break and relish the downtime with your family. If your pull to work and ties to technology is too strong to resist at home, go places where there is no electronic distraction and leave the devices at home—the library, a hike, a picnic, museums, farmer’s markets. Not only will you will end up making memories and meaningful connections, you will also find you are rejuvenated and more productive when you return to your work duties.
2. During the workweek, get outside. There is just something about being outside that causes me to abandon my technology and just enjoy nature. Even if it is only for fifteen minutes, go outside and watch your children investigate their surroundings. My children are the best “Hands Free” role models I know. Being outside creates mindfulness that we are part of something much larger than ourselves and our day-to-day problems. Being outside is like a slap in the face to cherish the moments that matter.
3. Refrain from using your phone when driving your children or family members. Use this time to talk to them or play their favorite music and sing together. Ask open-ended questions. Talk about what you are grateful for. Point out picturesque views along the drive. Let your minds wander. It’s okay to not be “doing something” every minute of the day. The car is a good place to think and simply be.
4. When you are with your children/family in “waiting” situations like the doctor’s office, restaurants, events, or activities, resist the urge to look at your phone. This wait time is ideal connection time. If necessary, bring paper, crayons, books, or anything they might enjoy doing with you while you wait. You might be the only person in the waiting room not looking at your phone, and your children will love you for it.
5. Create at least one daily ritual where time with your loved one is sacred, meaning void of distraction. Whether that be tucking them in bed at night, having dinner together, or enjoying morning snuggles, do it every day so that no matter how the rest of the day goes, your child (or significant other) can always count on that one period of connection.

Rachel Macy Stafford is the founder of www.handsfreemama.com where she provides simple ways to let go of daily distraction and grasp what matters most in life. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Hands Free Mama. Her highly anticipated book, Hands Free Life, releases on September 8! It is a book about living life, not managing, stressing, screaming, or barely getting through life. Through truthful story-telling and life-giving Habit Builders, Rachel shows us how to respond to our loved ones and ourselves with more love, more presence, and more grace. Those who pre-order Hands Free Mama from now until September 7 will receive the FREE e-book of Hands Free Mama. Click here to learn more about the book and pre-order bonus.

Listening is a critical skill—Take this audit to see how you’re doing

Cindy and I have been traveling this year, and after every trip, we remark to ourselves about how seldom people ask us a question and then really listen. So I thought I’d take a few minutes of your day and remind you about the impact of your listening on others.

“We inhabit a culture that knows how to speak but not how to listen: so we mistake warring monologues for genuine dialogue.”  —Manfred Riedel, Between Tradition and Revolution

Why work on listening?
There are some people who are just wonderful to be around. You feel good when you are with them. If you step back and observe these people, you will begin to admire the way in which they listen.
Listening might be the most important interpersonal skill. When you give your full attention to someone, special things happen. Upsets disappear. Ideas come out. New thinking occurs. People open up. Self-esteem soars.
Yet we don’t listen very often, at least in a way that is magical. We listen mostly just enough to follow what is being said. We listen for what’s important to us. We interrupt. We finish other people’s sentences. We pretend to listen. Sometimes we don’t even pretend—instead we check our smart phones or we multitask. Certainly, we don’t often intend to make a difference with someone by how we listen to them.
“Nothing hurts more than the sense that people close to us aren’t really listening to what we have to say. We never outgrow the need to communicate what it feels like to live in our separate, private worlds of experience. An attentive ear is such a powerful force in human relationships. That is why the failure to be heard is so painful.”   —Michael Nichols The Lost Art of Listening
We all have a natural ability to listen
With a little attention and practice, you can discover how to make a difference with how you listen. It’s pretty simple. Slow down and pay complete attention to each person who speaks to you. Your attention indicates that you are interested and that you care. When you devote yourself to someone else when they speak, you make a difference to both the person and the conversation.
Awareness and practice will have an impact on your listening
Awareness is the key to making any change or progress. By noticing your behavior, and especially noticing what does not work for you, you begin on the path toward improvement. A practice is a deliberate, ongoing action that you add to your routine or way of working and living. Over time, a practice becomes a habit.
The following set of practices impact other people’s experience of being in a conversation with you. They are presented here as an audit you can use to assess yourself or you can ask a few colleagues to give you a candid assessment of what they experience when speaking with you.
Critical Listening Skills Audit
To what extent do I: (1—not at all, 5—all the time; higher scores are desirable.)

Show interest in other people and what they want to discuss?
Put my full attention into a conversation?
Treat each conversation and each person as though they matter?
Respect the other person’s speaking and their right to say it?
Allow others time to complete their comments without interrupting?
Avoid automatic reactions; pause and respond in a way that works?
Keep confidences; ask for permission to share something from the conversation?
Ask questions for clarity when needed?
Maintain appropriate eye contact when speaking or listening to someone?
Place myself in the other person’s position; seek to understand their reality?
Invite others into the conversation; encourage others to express their views?
Exhibit patience during conversations and meetings?
Practice supportive nonverbal behavior: eye contact, posture, nodding, facial expression?
Take a minute to think about what has been said before responding?
Listen with sincerity and full attention, not with a pretense of interest?
Take notes when appropriate?
Keep outside distractions to a minimum including technology?
Check to see if a conversation is finished before bringing up something new?

0–36:  It’s time to focus on personal development—especially conversational skills. (See Tell Me More by Brenda Ueland and Learning to Listen)
37–54:  Your conversational style is probably costing you influence. (See Regarding Influence and Influence Practices)
55–72:  Your conversational style is strong, leading to trust and respect. (See Trust and Respect Assessment)
73–90:  You are remarkable and great to be around.
“There can only be true listening if there is complete attention, and there can only be complete attention if there are no expectations whatsoever in the mind. And that is by no means a simple matter: As a matter of fact, it is about the hardest thing to do.”   —Toni Packer, The Silent Question: Meditating in the Stillness of Not-Knowing
Summer events will give you many opportunities to invite people into a conversation and then give them a really good listening to!
Take care,

Keeping kids connected to college-bound siblings

Dear Paul: My mother has asked me to call my younger sister regularly from college. Emily isn’t very talkative, so I’m wondering if you have any advice about how to make this work. Thanks, Stephan
Dear Stephan,
It’s wonderful that you are open to this request from your mother. Many older brothers simply forget how much their younger siblings look up to them.
Given that relationships are, in essence, a series of conversations, it is important to be thoughtful about the best way to construct some of those conversations.
It’s also important to set up definite times to talk—and do everything you can not to miss a call.
Consider the following structure for your conversations with Emily:

The first week, you should share first for about 10 minutes. That is, imagine you are responding to this question from your sister: “Stephan, what did you do this week?” Tell her about what you accomplished, the fun you had, the things that didn’t go well, things you learned, things you found yourself worrying about. Just keep reflecting on your week and finding new things to share. Over time, you’ll find that you will want to keep notes about what happens throughout the week so you can remember them in your call.
Then ask your sister to tell you about her week. When she finishes one thought, just wait. If you feel compelled to say something, try “What else?” When appropriate, make short declarations to let her know you are following the conversation. Try: “Cool,” “OK,” “Got it,” “Good…” But mostly just listen and wait. One watch out—don’t jump in with advice about what she should do unless she specifically asks for it. When people are sharing, the value is in the sharing. This is not about problem solving or looking for help. This is just talking with your sister.
At the end of the conversation, thank her for talking with you and tell her a couple of things you got out of or liked about the conversation. Perhaps, “I appreciated that you told me about….” or “I never thought about that before—that’s cool.” This lets her know that you valued the conversation and what she said. Very important.

Then the next week you can ask her to go first. Sometimes, going first gets the conversation started and helps the other person know how to respond.
Since Emily loves to listen, she will likely be slower to begin to speak. By taking the lead for a while, you help her get an understanding of what kinds of things she might talk about. With her, you are going to have to be more direct, such as “Emily, it’s your turn. I want to hear about your week, too.” Then learn to tolerate the pauses in the conversation. In life, you’ve got to learn to be willing to wait longer than the other person.
Again, let her know at the end of each conversation that you appreciate talking with her. And send her a text the next day thanking her again!
Good luck, and thank your for your question.

When your kids say you’re not listening…

Recently I received this question: Both my 21-year-old and my 15-year-old have told me that I don’t listen to them, so I know it’s bad.   What might I do differently?
It’s a great question because it reveals such a common problem: Listening is so basic that we take it for granted. Perhaps we’ve lost the ability to listen well because we never really understood what it is: listening is just listening.
Listening is a critical social skill. When you really listen to someone, special things happen. Upsets disappear. Ideas emerge. New thinking appears. People open up. Self-esteem soars.
Yet we don’t listen very often, at least not in a way that is magical. We listen mostly to follow what is being said without truly understanding it or taking it in. We interrupt. We finish other people’s sentences. We pretend to listen. Sometimes we don’t even pretend. We listen half-heartedly as we plan what we’re going to say next or allow our attention to wander elsewhere. Certainly we don’t often purposely make a difference to someone just by listening.
Ever notice that some people are just great to be around? You just feel good when you are with them. If you observe these people, you begin to realize that part of what’s so special is the way in which they listen.
With some perspective on what it means to really listen, and then with the intention to practice, we can shift very quickly toward listening in that magical way.
Michael Nichols’ book The Lost Art of Listening points out the essence and impact of listening:

To listen well, we must forget ourselves and submit to the other person’s need for attention.
The gift of our attention and understanding makes the other person feel validated and valued.
To listen is to pay attention, take an interest, care about, take to heart, validate, acknowledge, be moved, appreciate.
Being heard means being taken seriously.
Not being listened to is hard on the heart.
Reassuring is not listening.
Problem solving is not listening.
Giving advice is not listening.

Listening without resisting, changing, or adding to a conversation is listening.
When you put the world on hold and give your full attention to someone, you are creating a place where authentic conversation can occur. Why? Because when people sense that you are truly listening, they usually respect that gift by speaking with purpose and authenticity. They speak in a way that gives you access to their world and their soul. What a gift, especially from your teenager!
I’ve been presenting a listening exercise in workshops for over 30 years, and even though we’re all experienced at speaking and listening, this  exercise always changes how people listen.
During the exercise, the person listening can’t say anything at all. It’s actually about devoting your complete attention to the person who is speaking so they truly feel heard. We used topics like these:

What are some of your favorite memories?
When you dream or think about the future, what is it like?
Tell me about your friends and what you like about them.
What do you lie awake at night worrying about?

In the first two rounds, family members split up and worked with people they didn’t know. My intent was to get everyone comfortable with the listening process before they talked within their own families. Then parents and children had a chance to practice listening to each other, giving each other the experience of being listened to. A couple of weeks later, I received an e-mail from Andrea, one of the participants.
Dear Paul,
Last night my fourteen-year-old daughter, Chelsea, came home and  said, “Mom, I need to talk. If you can listen to me the way we learned the other evening, you can save me a three-mile bicycle ride to my friend’s house.”
Thank you,
I loved that. What a difference it can make to simply listen in a different way.
If you practice really listening whenever your kids talk to you, they may not thank you. But they won’t tell you that you don’t listen to them!
P.S. There’s a great article on listening on the website. It’s free to download, along with lots of other resources. Enjoy!