Sometimes all I can do is listen.
There are many moments in parenting in which I don’t instantly know what to say or do; I don’t know how to react, what answers to give, or how I am supposed to proceed right then.
But, really, that’s not so important because I can always listen. Even if I am momentarily clueless, my kids aren’t. They always have something to communicate, and I can listen.
If I don’t have a solution, I can rephrase. “So, when you showed your toy to the class, one boy said he didn’t want to see it, and that hurt your feelings.”
If I don’t have any answers to give, I can aim for understanding. “You must be feeling disappointed.”
If I don’t know what instructions to issue, I can ask questions instead. “What do you think can be done?”
If I don’t know what action to take, I can focus on gaining perspective. “Oh, so you’re telling me…”
I can hug.
When I don’t know what am I supposed to do as a parent, I can focus on what I can be for my child: a point of understanding, a soucre of comfort, a sounding board for emotional release. My kids have something to say, and sometimes, no matter what other uncertainties may exist, I just need to be there to hear it.
All I need to do is listen.