Friday, December 23, 2016

You Can't Judge a Listener by His (or Her) Actions

Earlier this year I was doing a presentation on WWII, based on my book, “All my love, George” for a group of middle schoolers. It was a great group of kids—very attentive and full of questions and comments  
At the end of the presentation I always invite the kids to come up to get a closer look at the original letters the book is based on and other WWII memorabilia that belonged to George. When twelve year-old Levi came up to the table he handed me a piece of paper and said, “I drew this for you while you were talking to us because I know this happened during WWII, too.”
I’d noticed Levi writing or doodling during most of the time I was there, but it didn’t bother me. He wasn’t being disruptive, so what was the harm? I just assumed this wasn’t his ‘thing’. But when I reached out to take the paper from him, it was obvious my assumptions were wrong. I was blown away by the drawing he handed me. It was a drawing of the flag raising at Iwo Jima. I’m not talking about a few scribbles and stick people. It is amazing!
From all appearances Levi had completely tuned me out, but he hadn’t. Just the opposite was true. He was listening as intently as anyone else in the room…maybe even more so than some.
As parents you need to be aware of the fact that like Levi, your children’s listening ability may not be dependent on constant eye-contact and what you consider to be their full attention. Children often have the ability to multi-task without compromising their comprehension
Judging a listener by his or her actions isn’t fair. And much of the time it’s not even justifiable. So before you accuse your child of not paying attention to you or of ignoring you, make sure you know what you are talking about. Instead of assuming, ask them to repeat what you’ve said or answer a question about what you’ve said. That way you’ll know for sure and who knows…you might even end up with an amazing drawing like I did.


Momma D

PS: My book, “Love, Momma D” is now available in print and e-reader formats from any online or brick and mortar book seller. When you purchase a copy of the book, 20% goes to the MY PEOPLE FUND to help the people of Gatlinburg rebuild their lives.

                            Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.


Friday, December 9, 2016

A Deer For My Mommy

How many times have you sat and watched a movie with your kids—one with a good dose of ‘hidden’ adult humor (clean and otherwise). We assume these comments fly right over the top of our kids’ heads. They don’t get it…or do they?

We pack up our kids and move them to a new house or even city without giving their thoughts and feelings much thought. After all, kids are resilient. They roll with the punches…or do they?

 In other words, kids have a lot more going on in their little heads than we often give them credit for and they are a lot more in-tune to what you are thinking and feeling than you think they are. Oh—and here’s something else you need to know…they care.

I was reminded of how true this is a few weeks ago when my four year-old grandson Reuben, ‘reached out’ to his mom to try to make her feel better…

I need to start by saying that deer hunting is a big deal in my family, but this year’s unusually warm, windy season made it more difficult for hunting than usual. In other words, Reuben’s mom, Olivia, didn’t get her deer. After she had been home from the hunting trip for a couple of days, Reuben asked his mom if she ‘found a deer in the woods’. After hearing her answer of “no”, Reuben got up off the floor and went to his room to play. Or so Olivia thought…

A short while later Reuben came back into the living room carrying a ‘deer’ made of Lego blocks and said, “Now you have a deer, Mommy. I made one for you.”

It wasn’t like Olivia was heartbroken or devastated over not getting a deer this year. That’s just the way it goes. But Reuben doesn’t know that yet. All he knows is that his mommy’s trip didn’t turn out the way she expected or hoped it would and he wanted to make her feel better.

So you see, your kids are conscious of what’s going on around them—conscious and concerned. That’s why it is important for us as parents and grandparents to be equally conscious and concerned about what we expose our children to, how we express ourselves, and our expectations of how they will handle it all.


Momma D

                            Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.