My youngest, who is 4 and very curious, walked up to me and asked, “Mama, do you have a baby in your tummy.”
My insecurity screamed inside as I rationalized the fact that my “pooch” apparently resembles more of a baby belly?! If I had walked away at that moment I would have scrutinized my body for the remainder of the evening.
Some of you are thinking, “You care that much about what a 4-year-old says?!”
The answer is…”Yes…sometimes…depending on what kind of mood I’m in.” That’s not the point!
I didn’t walk away, I answered him, “No, Darling. Mommy does not have a baby in my tummy. Do I look like I have a baby in my tummy?”
To which he replied, “I was just checkin’! Miss Jill has a baby in her belly.”
“Yes, Darling. I know she does. Do you want me to have a baby in my belly?”
“No.” he exclaimed, “I want a cat with green eyes.”
“Well that’s good!” I said. “Because I’m done having babies!”
Though this was a funny exchange between my preschooler and me it was also an opportunity for me to learn. It made me think of all the times I have had conversations with people when one word or phrase they used would send me spinning into assumptions instead of listening and seeking to understand.
Our children can teach us so much. If you don’t have children of your own, find some and listen to their conversations. What my son reaffirmed today is that God knew what he was doing when he gave me 1 mouth and 2 ears. I need to listen twice as much as I speak.
I think Stephen Covey did a good job of promoting the idea that we should listen with the intent to understand not with the intent to reply. If we do this it forces us to listen in a different way. It is easy to be forming a reply in our mind while someone is still talking if our objective is the listen with the intent to reply. It takes discipline to listen without forming an opinion prior to the person finishing what they are saying. We also tend to judge what people say based on who they are instead of what they are really saying.
A good lesson here Joy.
I enjoyed hearing about your exchange. He knows what he wants! 🙂
That is so great, Mark.
I have learned so much from Stephen Covey in the business world with different resources for management training. Thank you for sharing this! I will remember today to listen not with the intent to reply. I love that!
Haha!! I think a green eyed cat would be a fabulous addition to the Cannis household…. 😉
Absolutely not! It would be something else for me to clean up after 😉