The way I see it, hearing and listening are vastly different. Hearing is like...hearing. Like, your ear hears things. Listening is hearing things and processing the ideas you hear and seeing context clues like body language or environmental crap- like you hear a loud rumble and you look around and see a big truck and you know you probably don't want to dash into the street. That's different than just hearing a loud rumble and quitting at that.
Does that make sense?
My mom was a yeller, so naturally, I swore I'd never be a yeller but guess what? Yelling feels good. So I'm a yeller too. Ava rolls her eyes when I yell, Scott yells back, but Warren?
Warren taught me, QUICKLY, that when I'm yelling, no one is listening.
It's almost as if hearing me yell makes him physically ill. His shoulders immediately shoot up to his ears and he cringes back. He usually cries, or at the very least, his eyes get all shiny like they're filling up with tears. He gets this terrified expression on his face and he usually whimpers mama you scared me. You scared me.
And I get it because I hate to be startled and obviously, it's quite startling to have someone all of a sudden screaming at you.
But more than that, they can't LISTEN when I'm yelling. I never listened to my own mom when she was yelling, so why am I so surprised?
I guess I'm not. But the first moment I ever felt shame as a mother wasn't when I set baby Ava on the bench in the dressing room at the Gap and she rolled over for the first time- onto the tile floor. It was the first time I screamed at Warren and he got that terrified look in his eyes.
You scared me, Mama.
I don't want to scare my kids!! Even when they're being assholes, I want them to feel safe. Loved. Protected.
So that's my story. I don't want them to hear me yelling, I want them to listen to what I'm trying to communicate.
Linking up with Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop with the prompt listen.