My Kids Say I Don’t Listen

Dear Sara,

My children ages ten and twelve are constantly repeating themselves to me. They complain that I am not listening to them. I have a full time job and my mother is in a nursing home so I constantly have something to do with never any time for myself. How can I keep my sanity and pay more attention to my kids?

-Holly



Dear Holly,

It appears that you have two problems here. The first is that you are tuning out your children and not focusing on their needs. The second problem is that you don’t have time to take care of yourself and your needs. You could be approaching a meltdown.

When you get home from work, let your kids know that you need about thirty minutes or so of quiet time to change gears from work to home life. Use this time to do something that will help you relax. Your kids are growing up fast. They really do need your attention even if what they are talking about appears trivial., it’s not trivial to them. If you can paraphrase what they say and repeat is back to them, they will feel that you have heard them. Also listen for what they are feeling as well. Are they worried about an exam, excited about the game they played or sad because someone said something mean? These things are important to them.

Your kids will soon be teens and pulling away from your family unit to try their own wings. You won’t be sorry if you try to keep the lines of communication open.

-Sara

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