I keep getting into funny title territory! This episode is no different. You may think “well, which sport is it, baseball or basketball?” And my answer to you is … either. Let me explain.

It may be difficult getting your kids to listen. I know I have LOTS of trouble listening to my kids sometimes, and I’m all grown up. But your children need to have real attentive listening modeled for them every day! It could be sports, music, books, animals, it could be ANYTHING.

So here’s an exercise for you. Pretend like you’re on Jeopardy and you need to know all about your child’s interests. Suck up all that information like a sponge. Get to where you could answer “how many yards are in a soccer field?” or “what’s the newest Super Mario Bros. power-up?” if called upon to do so.

Here’s the thing. A lot of times we want our kids to study, to clean their room, to take a shower — we want these good things for them, and we want THEM to want these good things as well. But it’s going to take meeting your children on their terms and entering into their world FIRST in order for them to understand. Learning about their favorite sport or pastime is a golden opportunity for you to model good listening AND manifest your interest in what they have to say, because yes, both of these are essential for their development!

You can make a game out of active listening. Set goals for capturing personal “Kodak moments” and call them something based on your kid’s interests — two-point shots, goals, touchdowns, levels-up — to make it light and fluffy and remove the “routine” feeling. Grady and I are calling it “reverse golf” and trying to make or beat “par” for passing positivity and kindness to each other every day.

As you become present and take a genuine interest in learning about what your child likes, you will connect with them better! It has worked for me, and I promise it will work for you too. Remember: you’ve got this!

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