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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Trying to Listen

Is there a wrong way to listen?

When I was a teenager, I had problems like any other kid in the world did and like any other kid in the world would have today. Okay, the problems today seem to be on a more complex level.
One thing I always tried to do was talk to my mother about the stuff that was going on inside of me.
I felt so inferior as a kid, as a teen and as an adult.
I guess growing up in a house with alcoholism and neglect can do that to a person. Who knows.
Fast forward to today when I now have a sixteen year old daughter. She talks to me about a lot of things. I am thankful for that. But tonight, as she told me about a problem she is having with a girl in school, after I was done listening, I went on to tell her how to handle it.
She yelled at me.
I wasn't listening she said.
I said I was absolutely listening.
She insisted that I wasn't.
I went on to tell her all the things she had just told me. That means I am listening!
Um, no.
Listening to her is what my mom thought listening was for me. But it turns out, my idea of listening is not what my mothers was and more importantly, not what my daughters idea of listening is.
This parenting this is tough, man. I don't want to be the mother my mother was to me because looking back I feel like she could have done better in a few areas. On the flip side of that, my mom was pretty cool in some areas and I really that to inject those into my parenting style.
So what does a parent do?
And even when I find myself trying to "just listen" and not heap a giant was of unsolicited advice onto her, I feel like I am just not getting it right.

Do you have any doubts when it comes to your parenting technique?

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