Today, more than ever, we are not listening to more than a sentence or two of what anyone says. This is sad, because sometimes people have some really important things to say, and yet our attention spans are getting smaller and smaller.
Attention span is the amount of time that a person can concentrate on a task without becoming distracted. Most educators and psychologists agree that the ability to focus one’s attention on a task is crucial for the achievement of one’s goals.
In these wonderful internet days, studies have shown that most people don’t spend more than a minute on any internet site, we also short people on our listening skills. What person has been in mid-sentence and found that the other person has literally walked away or nodded and look around for someone else to talk to?
If this is an adult dilemma, it is now wonder that children are developing shorter and shorter attention spans and second-rate listening skills.
Our challenge as parents is to show with our own sound bites how important listening to another human being is in the grand scheme.
As a paid listener, I have seen people’s faces light up when they realize I remember a tidbit someone told me from a previous counseling session. I see how children stand taller when you remember to buy their favorite video that they said they liked.
Most children learn by imitation. They observe how you listen, and how much attention you give to tasks, or people. Are you rude to some people and nice to others? They are watching, and taking note, not always to imitate but sometimes to tell themselves, “That’s not how I am going to be when I get older.”
Do you cut your child off mid sentence and tell them to go put their clothes away? Or do you patiently wait out a complete sentence?
How you engage your child in conversation and hear about their day at daycare or school is the building block for a long and fruitful parenting life. How you talk to your child’s parent and about your child’s parent or grandparent is how you will be hearing them talk about you in the future. Kind words don’t cost a cent and a moment or two of interested listening can go a long way in teaching your child good social habits.
Did I keep your attention? Let me know? I am listening….
There are some things that need to stay the same, and others that need to be changed. If the shoe hurts, take it off, and get another pair of shoes. I know so many people who go around in tight shoes and complain as they limp along. It makes sense to everyone else, “Why doesn’t she just go get a new pair of shoes?” they say.
Not so simple in marriage. Men and women remain miserable for years, hoping the the other person will stop their addiction and turn around and look at them. They even cope with violence and extreme verbal abuse, for the sake of love.
I am not an advocate for separation or divorce. I do work with people though, that are single again, and still living in the past. Once you have made the decision to go, do not look back, because you might just crash into something while you have your eyes on that lost or left soul. Just remember, God doesn’t have any grandchildren. That person was there managing in the world before you met and she will be okay with you gone. Get your eyes on the road ahead of you today and follow the advice of wise others. They tell you to get active, get active. They tell you to go back to school, do it. It is the only adventure story you have, and you might as well get on with it!