Kids are listening to every word you say, even when you think they’re not. By the way, my kids are all in their 20’s and living away from home. They’re still listening.
Why Kids Are Listening
There are a couple of reasons I can think of. First and foremost, they are measuring your credibility. What you are discussing within their earshot may well be none of their business. HOW you are discussing anything certainly is. We aren’t born with a built in ability to argue or fight. Those are learned habits. Where do you think we learn those skills? The first couple of years of our lives, there are typically only a couple of influences. I wonder who that is?
As they grow older, the kids are listening to how you treat each other. This is because they hold you up on a pedastal and they will model themselves after you. If they hear you criticizing, that is how they believe they should behave and will replicate your behaviour. For example, you put the kids to bed and get into an argument with your spouse. You don’t think the kids are listening but I would suggest that we are all sensitive to environmental changes when we are asleep and will usually wake up, even if just to be sure you are safe. Now, the kids are listening and learning. Yes, you are teaching them what is ok and what isn’t. We all lead by example, whether positive or negative.
With your adult children, they are judging. How you treat your spouse or estranged spouse, will determine their opinion of you. If you don’t care, that’s fine. I wonder though if you should?!
What You Say Is Not Necessarily What Is Heard!
The kids are listening but what are they actually hearing? Have you ever played telephone tag? It’s an exercise where one person passes a message to the next, and so on, and so on, until the message has passed to a number of people. At the end of the chain, the message is often very different than the original or intended message. The kids are listening but what are they hearing?
You are the example.
Remember. you are the example. The kids are always listening. Even when they are 50 years old! Yes, you always need to be careful what you say. The kids are listening, be careful how you are heard!
Make it a great day,
P.S What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my parents, a great example. I’m thankful for the people who will be honest and speak up when I’m off side. I’m thankful for the love of God.
What are you thankful for today?