So, a few months ago we started a group for young/teenage/single moms in the community at my church. I have been super blessed to be a part of the group, and act as leader/mentor to the young moms that attend.
I have a passion for working with moms, and this has been the perfect opportunity to help moms in a unique way, to share God's love with them, and help them navigate the crazy, dumbfounding, doubting, wonderful, amazing, and blessed journey we call motherhood.
Even though these sweet moms are all very young, some still living at home with their own moms, working their way through high school, jobs, looking at colleges and what that really will mean for them, they have blessed me in ways I couldn't have imagined before. We have a small group so far, but it's slowly growing and I think that it will eventually grow into a wonderful resource and support for many area young moms.
At this month's meeting, we did a little activity on communication.
We paired into groups of two, and one person in each group took a picture I had gotten out of the kids' coloring books. I gave the other person a blank piece of paper and a pen. The person who had the paper and pen could not look at the picture that their partner had.
With our backs to each other, the person with the picture had to tell the person with the blank piece of paper how to draw what was in their picture without using descriptive words, or calling something in the picture what it was. For instance, if they were describing a face, they couldn't use the term "eyes". Instead they would have to be more generic. They might tell the draw-er to draw a large circle. Inside that circle, draw two evenly spaced smallish ovals (or circles, or however they wanted to describe them) about 2/3 from the bottom.
...or something like that....
Then we switched spots with new pictures. The drawers became the describers, and vice versa.
It was so interesting being in both positions.
Afterward we talked about how it felt to be the describer. Some words that were used were "frustrating", "annoying", "tedious", etc.
Then we talked about what it was like to be the drawer. "I just wanted to see what she was talking about!" was said by more than one in attendance.
|I think the "smiley" face was added after the drawer realized it was a butterfly ;)|
Then we talked about how this can be compared to talking with our kids. I mean, we are on *such* a different level than them! When we are trying to teach them something, show them something, or explain something to them, it can feel very frustrating, annoying, and tedious when they don't get it right away. It can feel like we are banging our head against the wall and nothing is getting through. It can feel like we are simply just spinning our wheels.
But what are they feeling?
They are probably feeling the same things we are and that they "just want to see/know what we are talking about"!
Not only that, but when your kids are trying to communicate with you and you just don't know or see what they are talking about I'm sure it's just as frustrating for them.
So, I would like to encourage you today to slow down and take the time to communicate carefully with your kids. I know all too often I rush through things and expect them to know and retain what I talked about. The reality is, they need more of me. More of my time, more of my patience, more of my compassion, and more of the direction I can give them.
If I take a little more time now, and continue to work on communication with them, maybe we'll get into some good habits that will really help out when they get older and need my open communication and understanding more than ever.
Come to think of it, I should probably start practicing this in every relationship I have - with my hubby, parents, siblings, friends, clients, co-workers, etc. Because really - life is all about communicating with every person you come in contact with. If we take the time to realize that sometimes we need to take more time and communicate in the way whomever we are interacting with relates to, our lives will likely be much more blessed.
Also? Relationships with the people I love are worth the time. Every time.