Vanilla Ice and parenting seems like an unlikely pair.
Yet “Ice Ice Baby” plays in my head every time I ask my 9-year-old a question and it seems I have to wait forever for him to answer me. In my mom brain, he should answer just as quickly as I ask the question.
So I ask a question and wait.
STOP, collaborate and listen. Vanilla Ice (aka Robert Matthew Van Winkle) dropped the mic on this mother.
And I waited some more.
Eventually, just when I thought he was not listening or did not hear my question and I was about to ask it again with quite a different tone, he answered. He did hear me, he was thinking of how to answer. In my impatience, my whole attitude changed and I became agitated. Shame on me.
Vanilla Ice has hit me square in the face with all of my relationships. I decided to ask and stop, collaborate and listen to everyone. It seems simple for everyone except me, and it does not come naturally for this mom.
Ask a question or talk to someone and STOP.
Stop and allow the other person to talk. Learn from them, not formulating what you will say next, but really learn.
Share and let the other person share with you. It is not a contest, it is a journey and we are on this journey together.
This requires your mouth to be shut. And those ears of yours to be open. After all, we have two ears and one mouth, so we should be listening twice as much as we talk.
I have learned more from listening to my son share and explain things to me than I ever thought imaginable because I didn’t rush him to answer in my time.
Thanks, Vanilla. Word to your mother.