Listening is a skill needed in all things. We ask our children to “listen”. What do we really mean by listening? Do we mean only listen when it is convenient? Do we mean only listen when it is important? Are we listening when they say there’s a problem?
It is important for all of us to make a conscience decision to listen with our eyes, ears and minds in order to incorporate safety, especially when it comes to a child. When a child says they are hot then maybe they are hot. When a child says someone is hurting them maybe we should ask who. If a child says I am unsure where I belong then maybe we should take the time to help them get to where they are going.
See listening is an art that not everyone has but children are expected to listen to adult regardless of the topic but we are not required to listen when they speak.
I do not belong here!
That is a red flag but when she said that no one listened, and she ended up 3.5 miles away from home because it was not a convenient time to listen to her and what the adult was doing was more important than her safety.
How about the child that verbally can not advocate for themselves but the parents put all the systems in place to make sure they have a voice and someone else decides to override that decision. That child’s life is less important than the time and effort put in place to ensure their safety. Safety is from door step to door step and we all play an important part in ensuring the safety of the children we interact with because they are relying on us regardless of convenience.
So, the next time a child attempts to speak to you when you are busy ask yourself, am I willing to take the time to listen. Children have important things to say and because teaching starts at home some of the training being taught is meant to assist us in performing our daily activities.