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A Word From the Head


April 16, 2015

Watch and Listen

Verbs demonstrate animation in our lives. There are two verbs in the English language that equip us for parenting: Watch and listen. Contrary to popular belief and practice, “talk” and “lecture” are not in the top two list. Watching and listening suggest several important messages to your child.

Watching. My mother and father attended most, if not all, of my soccer games when I was a boy. Soccer was new in 1978 in North Carolina, and Pele was in his prime. All mom and dad knew was that they knew very little about the game. That was irrelevant. To this day, I recall my parents being there and watching me.

They watched in the winter cold. They watched in the driving rain. They watched in the evening under the lights. I realize now that their attentiveness to me was more important than the game itself. 

Listening. I have a good friend who gave some sage advice. As your teens grow toward the post-graduation days, you must learn the careful skill of listening all the more. The key to listening is not being quick to give a solution, not being quick to demonstrate shock, and not being quick to assume that you understand all that is running through your child’s heart and mind. Let them talk. As you demonstrate passive listening, with a slow steady pace of more listening and less “immediate advice,” they will have more to say to you.

I have a friend who occasionally lies in bed with her teenage daughter for some mother-daughter time. In the dark, they cannot read your face and will be more apt to talk. The daughter will talk, and talk, and talk. The mother will listen, and listen and listen – groggy and sleepy, as teens are sure to stay up late.

Parents, brace yourselves for a late night and just lie there and listen.


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Verbs demonstrate animation in our lives. There are two verbs in the English language that equip us for parenting: Watch and listen. Contrary to popular belief and practice, "talk" and "lecture" are not in the top two list. Watching and listening suggest several important messages to your child.
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Rod Gilbert
Head of School

B.S. Economics
M. Divinity, Mid Amer Sem
Ph.D. (candidate) S Baptist Sem
Interests: soccer, Alpine dairy goats

read his bio

 

 


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