November 29, 2018 – World Magazine-

When was the last time you tried to talk to a recalcitrant child? I don’t have kids in the house anymore, but sometimes I volunteer for the privilege of grandmothering a family in my church. Two years ago, on a camping trip, I had to correct the boy of the family, an 11-year-old who was going through a “difficult” stage.

The child sat like a rock, resentment boiling from his eyes. He refused to look at me. I spoke very seriously, trying to make eye contact, as if my words would somehow penetrate his pupils and go directly into his brain. What he heard was something like, “Blah-blah blah, look at me! Blah-blah—Are you listening?”

That’s one way children “not-listen.” The way grown-ups do it is more varied and subtle, but we may be even less adept than children. Here are some ways that adults turn in and tune out:

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Listening Seekers, what are your thoughts?

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