by Hannah Keeley
Kenna, my 9-year-old, got a kitten for Christmas. His name is Charlie; and it was love at first “meow.” Kenna constantly carries Charlie around the house and waits on him hand and foot. Her brother was joking that Charlie was going to lose functioning of his legs because he was always in Kenna’s arms! I truly believe if I had told her she needed to wipe his bottom after he pooped, she would be standing at the ready with a wipe in hand. We’re talking dedication!
Charlie has settled in nicely with our family, but I had no idea how much Kenna has adapted to her new role as “Kitten Mommy.” The other day, Korben and I were hanging out in the kitchen. It was early in the morning and he had just finished working out with his dad. We were enjoying some “mother-son” time together.
Charlie was up as well, and he was wandering around the kitchen, playing with random objects on the floor (which isn’t hard to find in this house). All of a sudden…
he stopped batting around a pencil and began meowing. After two meows, we heard little feet hop on to the floor above us and run down the stairs. Kenna walked down the hall and into the dining room. With eyes half-shut from sleepiness and hair tousled all over the place, she scooped Charlie up in her arms and walked back upstairs to grab a few more minutes of sleep.
We were stunned! HOW in the world did she hear the kitten meow from that far away? Korben and I just looked at each other and he said, “Wow, she’s already developed her MOM EARS!”
“Her what?” I asked.
“Her mom ears! You know…you’ve got them, too. It’s those ears that can hear every little thing that has anything to do with your kids.”
I began laughing, thinking about the truth of what he had just said. We really do develop “mom ears.” I’ve woken up in bed before and nudged Blair awake to tell him that one of our kids was “breathing too hard.” I can hear someone come up the stairs and tell you exactly which one of my seven kids it is! That’s what mom ears are all about. We have a filter that is especially fine-tuned to pick up every signal that pertains to our children.
But quite often, we forget to listen to what is really going on underneath the noise. As our kids get older, we need to keep on training our mom ears to pick up frequencies that may be imperceptible to other people.
Hear the heart underneath the words. Kids aren’t always vocal about their problems. Sometimes we just have to listen a little more closely to find out what’s really going on. Our children can’t always decipher their spirits, but they can always communicate when things just don’t “feel right.” Listen carefully to your child. You’ve got a “sixth sense” when it comes to your kids, so listen to it. Keep talking. Keep communicating. And keep affirming your child that no matter what, you will always be there for them.
Hush up. I’m the world’s worst in this area. So, please know that when I’m pointing a finger at you, there are three fingers pointing right back at me. I love to counsel. But just because God has gifted me in this area, that doesn’t mean I need to use it every. dang. minute. Just ask my kids. They don’t always have it easy with a therapist on 24/7 duty! So, sometimes, we just need to stop talking and listen. I mean really listen. James 1:19 tells us to” be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” In other words, you’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason!
Be aware of the quiet. Silence can often communicate more readily than words. If your child is beginning to pull away from you, then don’t take it laying down. Get up and pursue that kid! Keep asking questions. Talk about their interests. Take them out on dates. Do projects together. In other words, set the stage for communication as much as possible. And remember to listen without judgement. Scorn pushes people away. Compassion pulls them in.
Don’t let anything distract you. The enemy knows how powerful your “mom ears” are. That’s why he will try to distract you at every single turn in the road. Be aware of this and fight back! Put your phone down. Look up from your laptop. Turn away from the television. Don’t let any distraction pull you away from the relationship that is right there in front of you–your child. Distraction is a mighty weapon, but you have something even stronger–your mom ears. Now use them!
What do you think? I absolutely love hearing from you! Leave a comment below and share your best tips on communicating with your child. We’re all in this together, so keep those awesome tips coming! Oh, and it would be mighty nice to share this on Facebook or Twitter so other moms can know how to fine tune their “mom ears.”
Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!
Check out Hannah’s Website Here!