Can You Hear Me?

Seriously, dudes. Just shut the mouths for a second. Stop talking and listen.

I know, I know. I understand the irony. Here I am, talking every day and never shutting up and I’m telling you dudes and dudettes to knock off the noise. I get it. Still, I think it’s pretty good advice.

See, I was reading an article on LinkedIn the other day. It was about a dudette who contracted laryngitis. She couldn’t talk at all. And this was a dudette who was never not talking.

In the article, she talked about how not being able to talk, once she got over the frustration, really enabled her to actually listen to the people with whom she worked. It was an (you should pardon the second sensory analogy dragged in here) eye-opening experience.

She found that, once she began to really listen, she began to make better decisions because she actually understood what people were telling her. The time spent listening to other people was useful, instead of a pause for you to breathe and to marshall your next seven points to talk over the other person.

It got me to thinking.

It seems like that, as parents, we do a lot of talking. I’m saying a lot of talking and mostly to our sons and daughters. There are all sorts of good reasons for that. Mostly because as young dudes and dudettes, they don’t have enough experience to say anything that will contribute in a good way to a serious discussion. Then, when they become teenagers, they’re just so obnoxious, no one wants to listen to them on general principles.

Still.

We need to close out yappers some time. Take the opportunity to really listen to what your son or daughter is telling you. Listen to her vocal mood. Is there something in the way he’s talking that says, “Good” wasn’t anything like that?

Listen to them talk and try to remember their friends’ names and relationships. This lets you be able to act specific questions about the correct kids. It lets them know we’re taking their lives seriously. Even if we’re not. Learn to echo back what they’re saying so they know you’re actually listening to them and paying attention.

Do what you tell them to do: Look at their face when you’re listening or talking, be seen to pay attention. Be courteous and wait your turn to talk. The important thing is that by listening to our little dudes and dudettes, we’re showing them the correct way to behave with other people. We’re modeling the behavior we want to see. Or, rather, to hear.

That’s all for me for today. I’m going to shut up now.

See? I’m doing it. I’m not talking. At all. Right after this.

Told you I–

Rats.

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