The new school year came with not only new classrooms but also new class teachers and assistant teachers, whose names were boldly pasted on the door of each classroom.
So when I went to drop off my 4-year old at school, I made a mental note of both teachers’ names.

Image result for african american mom thinking

However, later that evening, when my husband asked for the names of the new teachers, for some reason I could only remember the class teacher’s name. Her assistant’s name had somehow skipped my mind. So my husband redirected the question to our son who after a brief pause replied – Mrs. X and Mrs. Y.

Related image

At that point, I interjected saying that the assistant teacher’s name was most definitely not Mrs. Y. Even though I still couldn’t remember what it was, I was nevertheless certain that it wasn’t Mrs. Y. I was so sure that when I heard the right name, it will all come back to me.
Day 2 came and we had a repeat of day 1 since I had forgotten to re-check the assistant teacher’s name while I was at the school. So again, as I suffered from a blurred memory, my son kept insisting that his teacher’s name was Mrs. Y and this time around, he was way more confident than he had been the day before.
Then Day 3 arrived and even though I had again forgotten to look up the name on the door, I someway, somehow remembered a name which I believed belonged to the teacher. So I eagerly announced to my husband that the assistant teacher’s name is Mrs. Z. My husband believed me, even though my son was still insisting on Mrs. Y. In fact he even scolded the little tot, telling him that he must learn to listen to mommy.

Related image

Anyway, fast forward to Day 4. At home, I came across the school’s year book from the previous year. Wanting my husband to see pictures of the new teachers, I quickly looked them up and then invited him to come on over to have a look. It was in that moment that my mistake stared me right in the eye. Boldly written beneath the pictures of both teachers was Mrs. X and Mrs. Y. All along my son had been right and I, wrong.

Related image

Dear Moms, sometimes we assume that because children are children, they don’t know what they are saying. Therefore there are times when we cut them short or don’t pay full attention to their words. I’m referring to those countless times when we mindlessly mumble ‘okay’ just to shut them up. Or the times we look for ways to distract them whenever they try to tell us something we deem unimportant.
Then there are other times when these kids say stuffs and we blatantly tell them to stop lying because we assume that whatever they are saying, cannot possibly be true.

Related image

However, newsflash for you, this is not always so!!! There are times when these little ones are not just talking off point. They are actually trying to communicate and are in reality making a lot of sense. But, we simply are just not listening. Note that listening goes beyond paying attention to just words. You also have to be patient enough to hear what the child is not saying and to listen to other non-verbal stuffs like body language and changes in attitude and behaviour.
Now when you don’t listen, here are 6 things that could happen:
1. The child may feel unimportant because he watches you place premium on the words of ‘outsiders’, while paying little attention to his own words.
2. The child may become frustrated. Imagine trying to communicate with someone who is either not listening or not taking you seriously. How would you feel? Frustrated, right?
3. The child may stop trying to communicate with you and instead, begin to talk to outsiders who take him more seriously. Hence the child may develop a better relationship with these other people. Unfortunately, these other relationships may not end up being healthy for your child.
4. You may wrongfully blame the child for things he did not do. This is because you will always believe the words of outsiders over those of your child.
5. The child may begin to lie because after all, you won’t believe him anyway
6. The child may get abused right under your nose and you will miss all the signs because you are not listening

On a final note, this is not to say that children are not sometimes cheeky or plain naughty when it comes to their words. However, despite this, it is your responsibility as a parent to learn the difference between their serious talk and play talk, while also teaching them the importance of telling the truth, all the time.
So dear moms, are you guilty of not listening? Or are you all ears whenever your children speak? Do share with us…
Image courtesy: hecticparents.com, www.masterfile, www.manhoodraceculture.com, www.dailymail.co.uk, www.englishharmony.com, www.savingchildhood.org