Saturday, January 07, 2012

Communication: Are You Hearing What is Being Said?

Communication.

Good communication is imperative in successful friendships, marriages and parent-child relationships.

But, even with the best intentions and willingness to listen sometimes what is begin said isn't what is heard. 

I can't even tell you how many times my hub will say something, but what I hear is completely different from what he intended.  

Effective communicating and listening can be really difficult.  One perfect example occurred yesterday with our oldest son, The Teenager.  NOTE: What I heard and what was being said were two completely different things.

We were at Target.  We had just walked in front of the video/electronics section heading toward the toy section so our Lego son could look for Lego figures.

As we passed the electronics section, our oldest son blurted out in a loud voice, "ARE WE BROKE?"

I was a little shocked he would ask that right in the middle of the store, especially since it came out of the blue.  It's true there have been some financial struggles lately with a number of unexpected expenses coming up, but we're by no means broke.  Why would he ask such a thing?

I told him to be quiet.

Then he said it again, "ARE WE BROKE?"

UGH!  Why does he keep repeating it?  People at Target do not need to hear this.

Then he said it again, "ARE WE BROKE?"

I gave him the, "Do not repeat that again!" look.

He then gave me the, "Mom, what's your problem?" look.

I said, "Do not say that!  There is not a problem.  We're fine!  Now stop it!"

He looked at me quizzically.  

Then there was silence and we headed to the toy section.

After about another minute or two, he kind of whispered, "Mom, are we broke?"

Why won't he let that one go?

I then looked at him and said, "Honey, we're not broke.  We're fine."

He then sighed and said, "No mom, Our Wii broke."

Oh...our Wii broke.

Whew!

He wasn't trying to frustrate me.  We just didn't understand each other.

He kept saying, "Our Wii broke,"  but I was hearing, "Are we broke?"

My poor son!

How many times do we hear one thing, while our kids (or spouses) are saying something completely different.

As parents we need to really pay attention to our kids (and spouses), ask for clarification if necessary and make sure we are understanding each other before jumping to conclusions.

Listen to your kids (and spouses).  What they're saying may not be what you're hearing at all.

1 comment:

The Ryan Crew said...

SO SO True! Too funny.