Sometimes we are all better at giving advice than we are at observing and listening. As parents, we are experts at this. My mom and dad gave me lots of advice, but were always eager to hear what I had to say. They made me feel comfortable telling them what was on my mind. They never belittled me for having thoughts and theories.
I often reflect on my own parenting and listening skills. Anthony was our “buddy” and friend as he was growing up and we did a lot of things under that scenario, but certainly knew when to draw the parenting line.
One story from which I learned is this one.
Anthony, as a young boy and into his teens often came to us rubbing his neck saying that he felt like he had two adam’s apples. We would brush it off and tell him that it was just a natural knot in his throat.
We learned from this, that even a child really knows his or her own body and how it feels. When Anthony was 19, he went in for pre-surgery for his tonsillectomy and asked the surgeon to check his double-knotted adam’s apple. The surgeon was quick to say, “You have a thyroglossal duct cyst and that needs to come out. I suppose you have felt that for a number of years.”
Needless to say, Joy and I were shocked to hear that he would now have two surgical procedures,… and he had quite a hard time of recovery.
I also think of things that students would try to tell me, and I would learn later that maybe I had not really heard the real message they were trying to get across.
Are you hearing, or are you listening? They are really two different things.
LISTEN CAREFULLY TO WHAT WISE PEOPLE SAY; PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I AM TEACHING YOU. Proverbs 22:17