This is a conversation between me and my eight-year-old son that I recorded and then typed out for this post.
If you’re wondering why it’s because he often asks me the most amazing questions that we’ll have a long conversation about. The last question he had was a few days ago, and at the end of it I said: “I’ve got an awesome idea, we should try recording our conversations and I’ll make a post out of them!” He thought that was a cool idea, so this is a conversation we had today!
For ease of reading, I have edited unnecessary content and very personal circumstances related to the subject we’ve been talking about but feel it’s a truthful representation, most being word for word, of our conversation.
Master Eight-M8, is in Italics.
So what’s your question again Darling?
M8-Is it better to listen to other people?
Compared to what?
Compared to what you want to do?
So what made you want to know that?
M8-Because I just wanted to know if people should listen to others.
So you want to know if you should listen to other people?
Like what other people?
M8-Like you and Daddy, people like that…
So you mean just Mummy and Daddy, not other people, because do you usually listen to other people?
Ok, who would be the other people in your life apart from Mummy and Daddy that you would listen too?
M8-Arghh…Uhm…My teacher at school.
Anyone else….or are you only talking about people you know well?
M8-Yer, not just like people you don’t know that are strangers because if people say things to me and it’s someone I don’t know, I don’t say anything and I just don’t listen to them.
That’s a good idea, it’s not good to listen to people you don’t know.
Do you think it’s a good idea to listen to Mummy and Daddy and your teacher at school?
Why do you think it’s a good idea?
M8-Well, sometimes if I don’t listen to you guys I might not get to do other things I want to do.
Ok, is that the only reason you listen because you don’t want the negative consequences?
Are you sure that’s the only reason you listen, because you don’t want something unwanted to happen?
M8-Well, sometimes I listen to you when I’m playing my game when you call me for lunch or dinner and I don’t just ignore you because I’m hungry.
Well, I think it’s a little bit sad the only reason you listen is because you want to be able to play your game, is that the only reason you listen?
Well, what other reasons are there?
M8-Arghh…because…I’m thinking…I’m thinking…I’m thinking…
Well my question to you is, are you only listening to us to avoid not being able to have something you want?
M8-Well sometimes I get in trouble if I don’t listen to you guys.
M8-And I don’t like getting in trouble…
Like what sort of trouble?
M8-Like if I am mean I get told off or I have to go away for a bit.
But aren’t you sometimes listening because it feels good to listen?
M8-Yes, it does sometimes.
But you don’t listen to us all the time though do you, so if we asked you to do something but it strongly goes against what you want to do you don’t always listen, which is okay I’m just saying you’re not only listening to us blindly without any regard to how you’re feeling.
Would it be true to say you’re making a choice to listen based on, will it feel better to listen and do this or will it feel better not to listen and do that.
And doesn’t the decision you make depend on the possible consequences you think may happen, and how much you do or don’t want to do something, but it’s still a choice that you make after weighing up all the pros and cons of the situation.
So would it be fair to say you’re making your decisions based on what feels best and what you feel will get you the closest to what you are wanting and sometimes that’s listening to Mum and Dad and sometimes it isn’t
That’s all you can do, that’s what everyone does, from where ever we are now, we’re all choosing what we feel is the best option for us, the choice we feel will hopefully produce the best outcome.
Of course, I’m Mum so I would always say it’s a good idea to listen to your Awesome Mummy wouldn’t I!! Hehehe
M8-And Awesome Daddy!! Hehehe
Yes, and at the end of the day, you’re always guided by yourself. Sometimes it’s good to listen, and sometimes it isn’t, I can’t say you should always or exclusively listen to anyone because you have to listen to yourself. Only you know what feels best for you, don’t you think Darling?
And so it is….