Life of a Real Mom

Unedited Mothering

Tag: listening


Many of us humans have been touched by anxiety in one way or another so it is a pertinent subject.

My strategy, when I am feeling anxious, is to talk. I feel like I need to talk through things a lot. I am grateful for those who have been the receiving end of my “thoughts” at those important times, especially my Heavenly Father. I admit I am not as experienced or informed as most, but since talking is the way I get through things, I encourage my kids to talk to me a lot. I ask serious and personal and funny questions as often as I can, then LISTEN. I stay up late, wake up early, go on outings, pray like crazy, whatever I need to do to get them to open up. I work on truly accepting them and doing what I can to make them feel safe around me. I am sure that you are all doing this too. I don’t know if that helps, but that is what comes to mind right now.

I also feel that a personal relationship with Heavenly Father and being in-tune with the Holy Ghost is most important. However, this is not the only thing needed sometimes. We need to be honest and in-touch with our bodies and minds. When we need help, get it.

Here are some books I have been referred to from an excellent source that I trust, but I haven’t read any of them yet. 🙂

Happiness Is A Serious Problem by Dennis Prager
The Holy Scriptures by God
The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
Reinventing Yourself by Steve Chandler
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Leadership and Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute
Putting on the Armor of God by Steven Cramer
Bonds That Make Us Free by C. Terry Warner
Our Search for Happiness by M. Russell Ballard

Other good book ideas:

How to Stop Worrying and Stop Living by Dale Carnegie—in this book is the concept that you plan for the worst and hope for the best. Sometimes we think, what would happen if my worst fears happened? What would I do? How would I overcome it? When I decide that I could handle it, then it is easier to HOPE FOR THE BEST.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell—in this book is the concept that you are the expert of your life. Experts can guess upon the outcomes of scenarios in the first few seconds. Because you are the expert of your life, your FIRST INSTINCT is the most accurate one. Many of us have a long history of second guessing things. We can try to give myself credit for our first impression. Tell ourselves “What was my first impression?” when we start to waffle. Perhaps we should not even give any credence to the second thought: the first impression (the babies are safe, the car is safe, the curling iron is off, the floor is clean) is right.

Choosing Clarity by Kimberly Giles—this book is really good at pointing out where we are still living a fear-based life. Some absolutely love the podcast by this author called “Relationship Radio”. Kim and her podcast partner, Nicole, speak often about behaviors that are based in fear.

Real Love in Parenting by Greg Baer—this book is so different than other parenting books that you might get scared off. Ironic, of course. Anyway, this one talks about how all conflict and behavior issues are the result of a child not feeling unconditional love but are fearful instead. It is a very expensive book (over $20). The digital copy is far cheaper.

“Happier with Gretchen Rubin”—this podcast has indeed made some happier. It is only 25ish minutes. Gretchen gives so many ideas about how to be happier. Her ideas are so easy to put in place. By listening you just want to be happier. She does this podcast with her sister Liz Craft and the sister dynamic is very appealing, with the girls giggling all the time and calling each other by their nicknames.

“Bold New Mom” podcast—A recent one talks about the differences between sensations and emotions. One of the amazing things about it is the speaker’s description of how sometimes you just need to let your emotions be there and not act on them at all. She says she can have fear wash over her now and almost laugh about it:

There are also many excellent BYU and conference talks such as the BYU talk by Lynn G. Robbins “Be 100% Responsible” and nearly every conference talk by President Gordon B. Hinckley and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.  

Parent Listening Skills

Active listening allows a parent to connect with their child. Connecting skills keep your relationship strong. You want your teens to trust that you will support their development. Active listening communicates that you REALLY care about your child.

“Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.” – Catherine M. Wallace

#1 –
– Notice body language clues (such as looks of confusion, sadness or anger),
– Face the child (Turn your body toward the speaker),
– Engage in eye-contact (Do not look at the computer, your work, or phone while actively listening),
– Use good starter questions (such as “What happened at school today?”), and
– Avoid quick fixes to their problems (This shuts off the child’s talking and problem solving).
Don’t get distracted, change the subject, criticize or judge, or interrupt.

#2 –
– Use “Tell me more” phrases to keep the conversation rolling and get more details (such as “Can you explain that?”) and
– Summarize (Rephrase what they said in your own words to show you WERE listening and to make sure you understood what the teen was saying).
>Don’t get distracted, change the subject, criticize or judge, or interrupt.

#3 –
– Show that you understand their feelings (You may ask, “How did that make you feel?” and follow up with an understanding thought or phrase like, “I understand why that would have made you sad…”) The four major feelings are: Mad, Glad, Sad, and Afraid, but there are others of course.
– Encourage your teen to be his best. Show that he is important to you and that you believe in them by making them a priority and REALLY listening to them.
>Don’t get distracted, change the subject, criticize or judge, or interrupt.

What skill are you going to work on this week? I am going to work on avoiding quick fixes. I want Curt and Adam to know that I really care about them. If I am not actively listening to them, not only will they sense I don’t care, but maybe I really don’t. Woah!

“Purposeful Parenting” by Joy Jones and Bonnie Cordon

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