They’re Always Right, You Know

Kids say a lot of nonsense, all parents know. They talk about monsters under the bed. They talk about their super powers. They’ll tell you they hate pancakes even though you’ve heard them beg you for pancakes and you watched them down a short stack two days earlier. It’s funny, just when you start tuning them out, they’ll get you. They’ll say they see a dog riding a tricycle out the window and you’ll nod and say “Sure you do, bud,” and then twenty minutes later, I’ll be damned, you will see a dog riding a tricycle out the window!

What is that about? It certainly keeps us on our toes.

The point is: We ignore our kids at our peril. And we tend to ignore them because we think we know everything…at our peril. Our kids might be ridiculous, they might be wrong all the time, they may well be inveterate liars…and yet, somehow they need to be listened to very closely.

When they say there is something under the bed, we should actually check. When they say their high school teacher is a creep or out to get them, we can’t write them off. When they say they don’t feel good, we should listen—even if there is a risk they’re just trying to get out of soccer practice. When they throw a fit or act out, we should listen too, if not to understand what they’re freaking out about than to figure out what might actually be wrong.

Most importantly for our own growth as parents and people, we should listen to our kids, we shouldn’t ignore them, because they see things we don’t. They look at the world in a way we maybe used to but have long forgotten.

Theirs is a reality check, of the best kind.

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