One of the best ways to communicate love and value and understand feelings and resolve problems instead of creating them is to listen.

Imagine explaining to your mom as she scrolls through her phone how unfair it was that you lost the spelling bee that you had practiced for for weeks. Or imagine telling your dad that you blocked a goal, so your team won the match and he’s busy completing his video game mission or watching his favorite team score.

Do you feel like you aren’t important when you are telling someone how bad your day was and the other person is busy texting, gaming or scrolling? He nods like he has heard you, but you know that he doesn’t have a clue about what you are saying or why it is important to you. Babies and children are not different.

Contrast that with how you feel when that person sets aside the phone, video controller or the mouse, turns, looks at you and shares your excitement, frustration, or sadness.

Children, everyone, need to feel heard, to feel know that you are listening to them and understand how they feel.

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