Listening to your Children

listening“Are you listening to me”?

Since I returned to Chicago two weeks ago it has been frigid, with a mixture of snow and ice…

I cannot remember when the cold has been this bad for so long…it seems like many years since I made sure I had a blanket and supplies in my car just in case it was needed!

At least, I no longer have a diesel engine car which would freeze and just refuse to go anywhere in the cold.

During the past few weeks, I have taken a hiatus. With all the cold I was beginning to think my brain has frozen along with my keyboard…

A few days ago, I came across an important piece about active listening

There just doesn’t seem to be anything more important than actually listening to our children and grandchildren to help them develop empathy, feel validated and remain willing to talk to us.

As a social worker and nurse, listening skills were paramount while caring for others… listening both with my ears and my eyes. Body language can also tell you how a person really feels and whether their words are contradicted by their bodies.

When I was growing up in the 50’s…there was a mantra…”children should be seen and not heard”.

I was never quite sure what was actually meant by this statement. What I do know, is that as the youngest member of my family, I always made myself known.

Over the years, it seems this saying has disappeared and to that I would say, “good riddance”!

Children speak to us in so many ways…through solo play with their toys, through our interactions with them, through body language and through behavior such as crying and tantrums.

Listening to your child with your undivided attention can derail a tantrum…really!

Making sure you understand what he is trying to tell you with his actions and his words is a very powerful tool…it actually shows your child that you care about how he is feeling.

I know, I feel so appreciative of someone, who really listens to me and is not trying to formulate a response while I am talking.

Children appreciate real listening as well and will continue to seek you out as they get older if you are a good listener when they are young.

So…try active listening…it is not easy. Beforehand, you may have to step back and center yourself rather than scream out loud as you step forward with open ears, eyes and arms.

listening with hugs

Related article:

Active listening improves communication in the parent child relationship.

 

Sand and Sun in the Caribbean

Image

sand and sun

 

Sometimes sand and sun is all I need to rejuvenate me…what about you?

For the past few days, I have been relaxing and taking in the beautiful hospitality of Grand Cayman.

It is a wonderful island …the beaches are pristine and the water is welcoming, especially after leaving sub-freezing temperatures in Chicago.

Tomorrow reality will return as we travel back to the cold…but in the meantime even though it is cloudy today, there is still a little sun and sand alongside the beautiful Caribbean.

See you all stateside…Happy Thursday!

Moms and Sons…

Old Spice has exploited moms and sons and their relationships.

What do you think?

I would be interested in hearing from moms of sons on this one.

Are you that attached to your sons? If you have more than one son, is your attachment stronger toward one son than the other?

This commercial is kind of creepy but is there an element of truth to it?

Are moms wary of their young adult/adult sons developing relationships with girls/women?

After watching this commercial…what do you think about the depiction of the mom…so crazy ….RIght?

Not only does she act crazy but she looks crazy as she watches her son grow up…

Sad…sad…sad!

I have no sons…but I hate this commercial because of the way it depicts the mom.

I know moms of sons. I sometimes think they helicopter too much but not necessarily more than moms of daughters… yet I remember my friend in the early 80’s, telling me that she had to let her pre-school son be a boy as he was climbing around the playground somewhat recklessly compared to our daughters. I was nervous for him but understood what my girlfriend was saying.

She did not want him to be a “sissy”.

Old Spice is this grandmother’s, father’s aftershave so…

Moms, you really have nothing to worry about if your son is using Old Spice…

moms and sons

 Related links:

http://m.blogher.com/hello-oedipus-old-spice-made-some-ads-you

http://selfishmom.com/2014/01/07/old-spice-and-sad-moms/

http://www.momfluential.net/2014/01/07/bad-old-spice-ad/

 

 

 

Attachment and Loss …2013

"Roots of Attachment"Loss and Attachment…

Years ago, a very astute clinical social worker made this simple statement at one of my supervision sessions…”life is a series of attachments and losses” and it is important how we form attachments and how we deal with eventual losses.

The year 2013 has come to a close and along with it some life moments of attachment and loss.

Family attachments are really my most important and this year we welcomed my daughter’s fiancé into our family. We give him our love and support and wish the very best to them as a couple for a long, happy and healthy future.

Together as a family, we are stronger than the sum of the individuals. Helping and supporting each other to the best of our ability given distance and our own separate lives is something we try to never forget.

Attachment at work.

My granddaughter still continues to amaze me. I anxiously look forward to sharing her “firsts” during 2014.

I love looking through her eyes as she welcomes new experiences. It brings back memories of my own childhood as well as those of my own children’s experiences.

Friends are dear to me and during 2013 our family lost one of our nearest and dearest.

It is a loss that we are still grieving. It will be a year of “magical thinking” as we go through firsts without him. His family suffers most and this is so hard to witness. They are grieving the loss of the deepest attachment, a father and a husband.

The year 2013 has brought me into contact with many new “virtual friends” and social media has kept me in touch with many old attachments. I love blogging and FB for this reason. It allows me to share with those that live across the country on a daily basis…even if it is just a simple photo. I love seeing the mundane as well as the fantastic.

After all isn’t the mundane what it is mostly about as we age?

I feel like I have just rambled but after two weeks of holiday…at home with a five year old it is where my mind is at…we have all been nursing varying degrees of winter illnesses and a severe bout of “cabin fever”.

Today…it is 24F and perhaps we will venture outside…if only to prepare for subzero deep freeze and the snow that is promised for tonight.