The Importance of “Stop! Look! & Listen!” for Moms
There are so many phrases that I find myself repeating all day, every day. In fact, I tell my son to clear his plate so much that we finally gave it a code word, “Button.” A few months ago I told him I was going to have a button designed that would repeat that phrase for me so I didn’t have to keep repeating myself so often. Now I just say “button” and he comes running into the room to take his dishes to the sink. It cracks me up…now. It wasn’t always so funny. In fact, it was ridiculously frustrating to me.
Isn’t that just the way things go in motherhood. We keep repeating ourselves and repeating ourselves in hopes that everything we want our kids to know and learn will eventually sink in.
Probably three of the most repeated words in my menagerie of mommy phrases is some combination of: Stop, Look, & Listen.
“Stop doing that!”
“Look out! You’re going to spill that!”
“Listen to me! I’m talking to you.”
Add in whatever you want with those three words and you can probably cover most of the things that we say all the time.
Yet, the other day when I was talking with a mentor-mom friend of mine, she told me that she had been practicing “Stop! Look! & Listen!” for herself. When she explained what she meant, it blew me away. I knew I needed to start practicing this in my own home.
Let me explain.
So, often I’m busy in my home. Biblical, right? Titus 2 tells us to be “busy at home.” Well, I’m not always busy with the right things. When I’m in the middle of something, be it dishes, a text message, writing, or, okay, I’ll admit it, checking Instagram, I don’t always stop what I’m doing and look up from my task or my device to listen to what my children are trying to say to me or show me.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I need to slow down. I’m often trying to multitask and that takes concentration. Other times I know it’s just because I’m too tired from the day to give them my full attention. What I found interesting is that I don’t usually do this with my husband. It was mainly with my kids that I had fallen into this bad habit.
So, how to break this habit? Well, I’m trying to be very purposeful in making sure that my family knows that they are important, especially more important than Instagram. I guess you can say that I’m trying to create a better habit.
STOP: I try to stop what I’m doing, at least for a moment to communicate whether I can give them my full attention at that time. There are some times when I need to finish a thought, especially when I’m writing. However, they are a bigger priority to me than my writing and I want them to feel that way. So, I am trying to pause and…
LOOK: Eye contact is such an important demonstration of respect. I tell my kids all the time to look people in the eyes when they are talking with them. Not down at the ground or at the device in their (my) hand. So, I try to make sure I am lifting my face up from whatever I’m doing and look them in the eyes.
LISTEN: I tell thy kids to “listen” all day long, but am I modeling what good listening looks like? James 1:19 says, “…be quick to listen and slow to speak…” I’m often really quick to tell my kids my opinion rather than listen to them fully first.
So, this has been my challenge to myself over the past few months. I’m trying to “practice what I preach” to my kids more by practicing my little “Stop! Look! & Listen!” technique. It’s basic. I know. But I was forgetting to do it.
I hope you were as encouraged by this as I was when my friend mentioned it to me.
Blessings and joy,
P.S. If you’d like a free copy of my Sanity Savers for Moms eBook, you can get a copy here. I hope it blesses you.
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