Different hearts speak in different ways – art, music, literature. Even home cooked food. Some expressions of the heart require special talent. Others are more universal. Listening is one of the latter. Anyone can learn to do it. All it takes are time and practice.
And the rewards are worth the effort. Everyone loves a good listener. They’re a welcome addition to any group.
Children’s survival depends on their access to good listeners. So does the architecture of their brain.
When caregivers listen to children and engage them in conversation, they strengthen the neural pathways needed for language and self-regulation. They reinforce the powerful relationship between words and behavior, and enable children to move beyond the tyranny of their impulses and emotions.
Listening sends children important heart-felt messages. They learn that they are valued and accepted for who they are. They learn that others hear their point of view, and appreciate how they arrived at it. They come to understand that others see their ability and effort. They are not alone.
So maybe Hello Kitty is on to something. Relationships are less about what’s said and more about what the heart is willing to hear.
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