Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff. Catherine M. Wallace
Meditation: When children grow up without being heard, listened or attended to, they do not believe that they matter or that those things that are in their heads and hearts make a difference. However, whenever a child feels truly listened to and attended to, no matter how small or big the concern or thought she has, she feels like she matters and she is loved. As parents we fail our children when we are too busy or too distracted to listen to them. Putting our cell phones or our laptops aside and truly listen to our children is the biggest gift we can give them, and sometimes the hardest to be intentional about. Small acts of listening can make all the difference in the relationship with our children. When they become teens they won’t share all the little things that are going on in their lives. But if we attended to them before, they know that we as parents are available when they need us to listen. And so even though teens are very inconsistent in their sharing, we as parents better be consistent in our willingness to listen. As not listening can estrange them from us faster than we think. Yet attending when invited and being available to listen will keep our teens connected with us, no matter what.
Prayer: Gracious God, some children have nobody but You to listen to them. Thank You for children that find You when their families fail them by not paying attention or not listening to them. Thank You for families whose parents listen, attend and care. Let us all find safe places where we are listened to. Thank You that prayer is such a safe place where we are listened to. And let us all experience at least one person in our life who listens, so that we can feel important and become whole. Amen
Surely God has heard, and he paid attention to my prayers. Psalm 66:19 (ISV)