Mama Bunkfish

Navigating marriage, motherhood, and mental illness on Jesus, caffeine, and naps!

Seen and Not Heard

Anytime you get a group of kids under the age of 5 together to play, there’s going to be some crying involved. And if the parents are in another room, all their story swapping stops because somebody says, ‘Is that my kid?’. It’s amazing how we can tell which kid is ours by simply hearing their cry…

I grew up in an era of ‘children are to be seen and not heard’. You know what I’m talking about – when the adults were congregating during the family gatherings you better not even think about going in that room. And you didn’t even think about commenting during an adult conversation…or you were in BIG trouble.

But there’s a part of me that wonders how much of that ideology has spilled over into how we see, but don’t hear our children when they’re hurting. I don’t mean when they fall down and skin their knee and cry out, or when they have a nightmare that makes them cry out for you in the middle of the night. I’m talking about the hurt that’s internal. I’m guilty of saying to my kids that they don’t have anything to be stressed about…they’re kids! I see that they’re tired and cranky, but am I hearing the way they talk and behave that would indicate that they’re frustrated, scared, stressed or just need me?

I venture to say that the reason we have so many young people, and adults as well, hurting themselves with drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, food, fill in the blank, is because they’re being seen and not heard. As you think about the little people in your life, are you just seeing them, or are you hearing them as well? I know I’ve got some listening to do.

Until next time…

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