We all know how often our teens and children will give little to no information about their school day.  Answers such as “Good” or “I don’t know” ring out regularly in the midst of of what has become a game of 20 questions.  However, with each of my children I find there is a time and place where they feel safe and ready to talk.  Where the walls fall down and there hearts open up to me without any prompts.  


Unfortunately, this can often go unnoticed by me in my hurry or tiredness.  At 10:30 pm when my teenage daughter wants to tell me all about her day or how she is questioning a new friendship or doesn’t know what to do in a certain situation; I have to be ready not just with “Hmmms” but to hear what she is really saying.  I need to listen with my heart to hear her telling me about how her confidence is sometimes shaken by friendships and that she still wants advice from her Mom.  When my soon to be college freshman chooses just before bedtime to share about how boring college orientation is I need to hear his concern for the unknown.  Using my heart I need to think about how to reflect back his feelings so he knows he was heard, while letting him know he always has my love and support.  On a walk with my 10 year old I need to make sure I give him my full attention and not be distracted by my phone so I don’t miss his sharing about the upcoming summer which is tinged with excitement and sadness.  As I listen, I can hear his love of his older brother who will be leaving for college and his fear of change and distance for the relationship.  


Our children often choose inopportune times to speak with us.  However, this window into their hearts are precious.  It is critical as parents that we listen and respond not only to the content but also to their feelings.  What precious gift is hidden in their words?  Can I reflect back their feelings to them without scaring my teen away? 


It is not up to us to unearth every hidden feeling or piece of information.  However it is our job and blessing as a parent to be able to listen.  We should be trustworthy and respectful audience who uses the ears of our heart to attend when our children and teens are ready to speak.  Remember they need a safe place to fall.  That should be home.  


If you have more questions or want more information about how to improve your listening skills with your teen/child please reach out for a free consultation at www.laurenrandconsulting.com or email at laurenrand7@gmail.com.   There are Parent coaching options as well as Learning coaching options available.