I often talk about the importance of listening to our children—really paying attention to what they are saying and doing—so that we learn how to “read between the lines” of their behavior and are better able to interpret what they say and do. When we understand our children, we take their words and behavior much less personally, have more empathy, and thus can respond rather than react.
I am reading T. Berry Brazelton’s memoir, “Learning to Listen”. If you don’t know who Brazelton is—you should. You probably have heard of Dr. Spock the pediatrician from the 50’s and 60’s who did a lot to change the way we look at parenting. Brazelton is the Spock of the 70’s thru now. He’s 95 and still going! He has written a ton of books and has the best knowledge and advice for parents of anyone I know. He has spent a lifetime learning about who babies are and what each one is telling his parents.
When he was in medical school in the early 1900’s, he was disillusioned and disheartened by the profession’s focus only on medicine and never on the patient. He since has worked hard to include child development in the training of young pediatricians. Brazelton did have one teacher, however, who changed his life.