As a daughter who has been observing parents her entire life, and with a keen interest in the subject the last several years, there are some things I've seen, that I shall attempt to share my thoughts on.
I'm sure most (if not all) of what I'm addressing has been thought of, and considered by my readers; but this is somewhat for the benefit of future parents as well. :)
Many parents go on as if their children pick up on things by osmosis. Seldom do you see parents really engage the child, and teach them from the heart. Much of the time the parents do their thing, and wonder why the children don't follow in their steps.
It seems there is an idea that once you are a parent it's now your time to be heard, and the children "should be seen and not heard". That's good... to a degree. But children need so badly to be heard, and mostly by their parents.
So often you hear a parent complaining that their child runs to their friends for everything. Is it any wonder? When the parents are too busy, or don't seem interested, or have more important things to do than listen to their child; the child will naturally go where they can be heard. Which many times is their friends.
Listening is an art we all need to learn.
Children need it so they can learn... but parents need it too. Parents need it in order to understand the blessing, and responsibility God gave them.
How many times have you heard a parent, broken hearted about their child going so different from the paths they, themselves have gone?
How many times do you suppose that could be avoided?
Sure, there are many times the parents did right. They invested much in their child. It's the sinful human nature rebelling against God given authority.
But what about the times when the God given authority is abusing the authority they've been given?
God commands that parents teach their children when they rise up, when they lie down, when they are about their daily tasks, when they are traveling... they to teach always.
But how can one teach when they don't take the time to listen, and find out what needs yet to be learned?
As my Dad always said. "God gave you one mouth, and two ears. That's because you're supposed to listen twice as much as you speak." He's right. Listening to someone (even in the smallest matters) for ten minutes, goes much farther than ten lectures at times.
Sure, talking has it's place. Lectures are much needed. But everyone needs to be heard at some point. Children are no exception.
Age makes no difference either.
We seem to like to hush small children, because they don't know what they are saying. But how can they know what they're saying is wrong, if no one will hear?
Little children say some of the funniest things, and we miss that, because we hush them so much. Many times the little ones have some simple, yet profound truth that we miss, because we hush them.
Just this spring there was a situation I was in, and no amount of what I said, trying to get others to do right, did any good. But a little girl, standing by innocently, made one small remark. By the looks on the adults faces, I could tell that little gem of a sentence she let drop went right to their conscience; unlike the many words I said on the subject. "Out of the mouths of babes" And we don't hear it much of the time, because we haven't learned the art of listening.
When a child is hushed from little on, by the parents, who should be the ones listening to them the most; is it any wonder when they grow older, they go to their friends, and go a different way than their parents tried to teach them?
Distrust of parents starts at an early age. It starts with not being heard, from little on.
I've lost count how many dear people come to me as a friend, and when I ask about what their parents think, it's always "They don't care. They never listen." Never listening is always - almost without fail - the first thing listed when asked why the parents aren't trusted/included. That alone should speak volumes.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.