Listening is a skill far more complicated than hearing. In order to effectively communicate with someone you need to be disciplined in the art of listening to understand, rather than listening to respond, defend or blame. It is quite easy to spot a defensive listener. Defensive listeners usually start responding before you have finished speaking....
The definition of motherhood offered by most dictionaries is a rather thin and ambiguous description, yet I think it speaks to the fact that there is no universal definition or experience of motherhood. Why, then, do we seem to be striving for one?
Hearing the words 'stubborn', 'defiant', 'difficult' or 'challenging', I often can't help smiling a little. These words for me are a sign that I am possibly being introduced to a strong willed child. I smile because while these children are generally misunderstood.
When faced with witnessing a parent constantly say 'No' to their child, my immediate thought is, "Well then what is this child permitted to do?" And then I start to wonder, if I am feeling this way as an adult, how frustrated and annoyed is this child feeling?
It pierces through you like a shrill monotonous drone – the whining of your toddler or preschooler. Your immediate response: "Please stop the whining!"