Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Listen to Your Child

I’m sure that we’ve all heard how important it is to listen to our children. Usually it’s in light of the fact that they will eventually become teenagers and the teen years can be challenging. So, if you haven’t been listening when they were small then they won’t talk to you when they’re big. It’s a good message, but not quite the angle I’m taking today.

I’ve already done a couple of posts on the value of listening to your child and I’m sure I’ll be writing more in the future. This time I’m going to share from my own mistakes with Amanda, specifically on two different occasions. Both times I thought she was just exaggerating. The job of a mom can be tedious and so it’s easy to want to brush off complaints made by one’s child as being no big deal. Both times I was slow to respond to Amanda’s complaints and both times it was a big deal. My bad.
The first time happened in 2010. I was dressing Amanda and as I was pulling on her pants, she began to protest loudly. I was thinking, what could possibly be the problem? So, I told her to settle down, because I had to dress her. This was me being slow to respond. When she didn’t calm down, I took her pants off in frustration. Something fell to the floor, but it took some investigating to actually find out what it was. It turned out to be a bumble bee. The strange thing is that it had never made a sound. I called my husband for help and we got it out the window. I was shocked to find six stings on her leg and I immediately applied sting ointment. I later googled it and discovered that bumble bees, unlike honey bees, can sting more than once.

At this point, you might be wondering how it got there. I also wondered the same thing. We hang all our washing outside to dry unless it’s raining. We live in South Africa and electricity is very expensive here, so washing lines are standard at most homes. It had to have gotten trapped inside her pant leg when we brought the washing in off the line the night before and since it never made a sound, I never knew it was there.
The second time I was slow to respond to Amanda happened just a few days ago. We went for a short, fifteen minute walk with the dog and were about six minutes away from our house when she complained that her shoes were hurting her. To protect her feet from thorns and such, we make sure she has something on her feet. It was a warm day, so she wasn’t wearing socks. I figured we were almost home, so she could endure a little bit more. She didn’t say anything after that, so I thought I had made the right decision. I forgot that little people have very fragile skin. Once we were home, I was shocked to find that her skin had chafed open at her one heel and the other one was quite red. Again, my bad.

I hope that you can learn from my mistakes and be quicker to respond to your child when he or she complains about something. Yah, I know, kids do a lot of complaining. It’s part of growing up. But, the thing is, they might be complaining for the right reasons. Life is full of interruptions. Allow yourself to be interrupted. Your kid is more important than the flow of the day.

P.S. She liked picking out her Disney Princess Band-Aids. Ariel was the winner.

© 2011 Amanda's Books and More, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena