Really Listening and Nothing Else

Today I take my youngest on a 3 mile loop walk around the neighborhood.

It’s a 45 minute walk, so I tell her that she’s going to have to tell me everything she’s thinking about.

“What do you want to talk about? What have you been thinking about?” 

I’m listening. That’s all I’m doing on this walk. I’m not correcting, training, or suggesting. It’s actually hard to just listen and not offer all my insight.

Nothing extraordinary happens in our conversation. It’s all about birthday parties, dolls, caterpillars, costumes, leaves, and dogs.

That’s it. Nothing deep or profound. Somehow, though, I know these are the kinds of conversations we need. These conversations are extraordinary.

I wonder what happens in the heart of a child when someone listens for a very long time to everything they have to say. I want to listen longer, harder, and more often.

Did you feel listened to as a child? What helps adults really listen to children?

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