My Kids Don’t Listen: Actually, They are Learning What We Teach

(Inside: My kids don’t listen – actually, my friend…they are taking in what we teach. More than we often realize.)

“I don’t get it. What does chivalry mean?” My 9-year-old son asked me from the back seat of our van.

His friend chimed in, “Yeah. Me too. I don’t get it either…

With my hands on the steering wheel, I edged into our garage and answered, “It’s when a boy shows kindness by taking care of a girl, even though he knows the girl can do things for herself. For example, it’d be chivalrous if you would carry in my bags or open the door for me as we enter the house.” 

A month passes by, filled with lots of moments when I feel my kids don’t listen, so aren’t learning the life lessons that I’m trying to get to stick… 

That same friend, my 9yo and I are shifting things around my son’s bedroom so his friend has a place to sleep. (Bring on the slumber party.) With the blow-up bed tucked under his arm, my husband steps into the room. My eyebrows furrow, “I know you need to work late tonight. Let me set up the bed; you get your stuff done.” 

My husband rolls out the thick plastic and centers it uniformly in the room. He smiles at me and says, “No, I don’t mind doing it.” 

And then, like the sweet music of the 80/90’s throwback station, my 9yo son’s friend announces to the entire room…

“See, that’s chivalrous.” 

My middle school son and I were conflicted so much over getting schoolwork done and chores in general. I was nagging, he hated it. So, we found a new way to communicate and get organized. This checklist worked magic for us. Read more in the description.

Look. I know we have to daily reintroduce our kids to brushing their teeth, loading the dishwasher, and putting their clothes in the actual hamper.

Yet we all have moments like mine when the Red Sea parts in our own home and our kids (and maybe even their friends) remember an important conversation that happened an entire 31 days ago. 


They are hearing our words.

Somewhere between the nerf gun bullets flying around the house and the youngest brother locked under the crook of his older brother’s arm, they are paying attention.

So, keep moving forward momma – you’re doing life-shaping, important work. You are speaking, and do you know what? Your kids are listening.

Be inspired in more ways than dealing with “my kids don’t listen” – read the full series on “Raising Sons.”

There is just something about raising all boys. Yes, you get “The Comments.” 
“Are you going to try for your girl?” (That question was recently asked of me while my three teen/teenage boys towered next to me. *No, I think we’re calling it done. But you made my day by implying that I’m young enough to still have babies.*)  Or, “Wow – you must be tired.” (*That was sure negative to say. Still…let’s be clear – I am.*) 

But, there’s something so crazy-special about being surrounded by men who love their momma. These boys are my entire world; and even though this website is for moms raising tweens and teens (stemming from my love of teaching high school), I find I can’t help by sometimes write about raising only sons.

Raising Sons Series

How to Get Your Quiet Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
Teenage Dating: Simple Advice to Tell Our Sons About Girls
My Sons Don’t Listen: Actually, They are Taking In What We Teach

Easy Mom-Son Photo Ideas You Will Love

To the Mother of All Boys

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens.

I wrote this post a few years ago, this is my current parenting chapter…

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kids, feel empowered in your personal growth, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get inspiration, resources, and stories in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

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gifts for moms
My kids don't listen
Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens here.