I was talking with a father of a
teen. He was struggling to establish a relationship with his daughter, so I
asked him to tell me about her. He struggled to tell me her birthday,
interests, likes, and dislikes. He tried to explain his difficulty learning and
remembering this information. He seemed so uncomfortable that I changed the
subject to sports. He sighed with relief as we discussed his favorite football players.
He knew their weight, height, and age as well as their position, speed, college
attended, completions, and other relevant stats.
As we talked, I had to ask,
“How did you learn all this?”
“I don’t know,” he
replied. “I guess it just like it. It’s important to me. I enjoy the
“Hmmm. Isn’t your daughter just
as likable, important, and enjoyable?”
The fact is, we learn about those
things we value. We learn about the things we enjoy. And, we value and enjoy
our children. Even more, our children need us to learn the details, the stats,
of their lives. If we don’t learn their stats, they will feel lonely,
unimportant, and uninteresting. They will feel as though we don’t value them
and love them. They will feel unloved. To
put it another way, our children will feel loved as we learn and know the stats
of their lives.
Guess who will teach you your
children’s stats? That’s right. Your children will! They are the teachers and
we are their students in learning the stats of their lives. So, become a good
- Listening to
the teacher. Listen closely as they talk about
their lives. Listen to the stories that include their friends, their
activities, their fears, their peers, their studies. Listen closely.
the details. You may have to write some things
down in a notebook to help you remember the constantly changing plays, players
involved, and opponents. Call it your Children’s Stats notebook. Review the
information now and again.
- Asking them
about the details of their lives.
Now that you know the stats of their lives, talk with your children about them.
Ask them how that project for English is going. Ask about the argument they had
with their friend. Ask them about things that interest them and how they are
resolving various areas of discomfort. Then, as they answer, go back to #1 and
start again. They will grow. The answers will evolve. The players, the plays,
and the opponents will change. The goals will mature. With that in mind, go
back to #1 and repeat: listen, remember, and ask.
At least two things will happen as you learn your children’s stats. One, your relationship with them will grow. They will feel loved by you and draw near to you. Two, you will enjoy your relationship with your children more. What’s not to love about that? Learn the stats.