Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Being Heard

Have you ever found yourself saying, "I wish my kids would just listen [to me]!"

I have.  Mine are ages 6-9- so I don't often feel super "heard"!

Actually, not being heard or feeling like my words aren't important to someone is a big trigger of mine.  I am a verbal processor, and I express myself with my words.  So Who am I when my words are not being processed by someone else?!

The other day, I decided on a whim to let my children do one thing that interests them.  It was an experiment, really, to see what they would get into if they could choose anything they wanted to do.  It was raining so that ruled out all outside activities that day.

Here is what they chose:
  • My youngest played the piano as loud and as long as he wanted and made up songs about how much I love him.  
  • My middle child wanted to "go through" everything of mine in our mud room, including, but not limited to my purse, my old purse, my pool bag, my Christmas card box, my supplies for making things with essential oils, my recipes, and other nick knacks of mine that I keep in our pantry/ mud room area.
  • My oldest chose to bake a recipe totally from scratch.  She looked at a cook book and decided to just "get inspiration" from that and not follow anything it says.  And she came up with the cupcakes you see here in this post.  Coconut Chocolate cupcakes- with a semi-descent crumb and a delicious frosting!

kind of want to shout from the rooftop that my 9 year old made these ;)
Here's the thing.  I was not prepared for what my kids' chosen activities would reveal.  What they chose was a direct reflection of how much they pay attention to me and what I say!

Here is what I learned from this experiment:
  • My son hears all the things I say to him about how special he is and how much I love him.  He knows he is good and important.  How can I be sure?  Because he put all my words to music.  Has he ever spoken or acted like those words have sunk in?  No.  But he knows them down deep because they come out of him when he is doing what he loves, which is singing loudlyHe hears me.
  • My quiet child, our middle one, wants to get to know me more.  She wants to know me so much that she will go through all of my things for an hour!  She also cleaned out my purse and I over-heard her talking to the trash and the coupons: "You won't make my mom spend more money than she wants.  You belong in the trash" :)  She speaks what she has heard me say to coupons many times before.  Recently I started throwing coupons away in the trash because they were ending up getting me to think more about adding to my possessions and "things" instead of saving me money.  She heard me.
  • And my sweet oldest baby girl!  She made her some cupcakes using the exact ingredients I use when I bake.  I don't bake using a recipe most of the time.  I only use my cookbooks "for inspiration".  In about every recipe I throw together I use the same 6 ingredients and she pulled out those ingredients first thing to start her project.  She must watch me so very intently because she made those cupcakes and they were pretty decent!  I cannot tell you how many times I have had a question while trying to bake something.  I had previously considered it an annoyance to be endured by mothers everywhere.  Yet, she knew exactly how to bake a cupcake!  She knew how it was done because she not only hears me, she sees me, too.

Mom's I hope this is an encouragement to you that You Are Heard!  My kids may not listen to me when they are invested in something else, like looking for lizards :)  And they may not listen to me when I ask them to not do that one thing for the 1,597 time!  But they do hear me.  Our kids long to connect, hear, and be heard.  I love how my experiment with mine taught me about how much they do hear and how much those things sink down deep.
and just look at that lovely crumb <3

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