Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stop, Look and Listen

I was talking to a friend today who commented on a common childhood teaching -

Stop, Look and Listen.

Most of us are taught that about crossing the street. You stop at the curb. You look both ways. You listen for traffic. Then, and only then, do you cross the street.

Good advice for learning that important skill, but as my friend pointed out, not only then.

"Stop, look and listen is also good relationship advice," she said. She went on to talk about how it applies to marriage. And she's right.

As I've continued to think about this, I've applied it another important relationship...parenting.

What if with our children we would stop, look and listen?

In the midst of our busy schedules and hectic lives may we stop and be present with our children more often. May we put down the phone, let the laundry wait, even step away from the computer and just be with them.

When we are with them may we look at them. May we see them for who they are - not just for whose nose they have or who they look like when they smile, not just for who they were as babies or who they are becoming - may we see them for who they are in this moment, this day. May we notice the little details - the funny way he cocks his head, the hair bow clearly put in by its owner, the scrape on his knee from a wonderful day of climbing trees. May we look at them and also at what they are looking at (even when most often their focus is on bugs!) so that we can learn what catches their eye.

When they speak may we listen to them. May we let them know they have a voice that is heard...they say things that matter. May we help them find their voice so that they know who they are not just who we hope they will become. May we listen, not only to their spoken words but to the many ways they speak their hearts without words.

Stop, Look and Listen.

Thank you, dear friend, for this insight.

1 comment:

This Heavenly Life said...

Oh, I love this -- Love, love, love this. I need lots of simple phrases if I'm to remember something, and this is perfect!