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Listening With Your Eyes

Show Your Katy kids that You Care

While attending a family reunion last week, I observed my three-year old niece, Allison, in my sister’s arms.  Many of our family members were talking with each other, and I overheard my niece say to her mother, “Mommy, look at me!  Mommy, I am talking to you!”  She then touched both of my sister’s cheeks and made my sister look her straight in the eyes.  Allison then said, “Now…I want to talk to you.  Are you listening to me?”

Once my niece had her mother’s eye contact, she was content.  She then said, “I want to tell you something.  I saw a bird flying over there.”  She beamed that she had been able to share with her mother what she had found so wondrous.  Since witnessing this small interaction, I have become more aware of the necessity of giving eye contact so others know we are truly listening. 

Last night I was busily running around the kitchen preparing dinner when my five-year old began chattering to me.  He mirrored my movements, dodging this way and that as I opened the refrigerator, ran to the stove, cleared a dish, and wiped the counter.  Suddenly I stopped my bustling as I realized he was doing exactly what my niece had done with her mother.  He kept trying to get my eye contact so he could know I was truly hearing what he was trying to express.

When I realized this, I paused in my mayhem, bent to his level and focused on what he was saying.  As I stopped, he too stopped and smiled, knowing that he had finally broken my frenetic pace.  While listening to him, I realized that not only did he feel like I was listening, but I was truly understanding him more clearly.  I understood him because I was still and focused.

In our crazy rushing, sometimes it really pays to slow down, pause and listen with full interest to our loved ones.  I realized that if I am not listening with my eyes, I am not fully listening.

How do you show others you are really listening to them?  Post a comment.