Just back from D.C. and the “Friends: Association of Young People Who Stutter” Convention. We are exhausted and happy to have met so many wonderful people. It was especially fun to put faces with the names of some of you who follow my blog!

I enjoyed watching Dr. Phil and Uri Schnieder’s “Going with the Flow” documentary (for the second time). If you haven’t seen it – go to http://www.schneiderspeech.com/ – well worth the trip! Dr. Schnieder also gave a parent workshop on listening. I appreciated his message on the importance of letting our kids who stutter know we will make whatever time they need to listen to what they have to say. Reflecting back on our own journey, I had some thoughts on the same subject.

When Eli’s older twin brothers spoke up, most often I would continue folding the clothes or drying the pans or sweeping the floor. I would nod my head, give a yeah or nay when required, and quite possibly not even make eye contact throughout the entire exchange. When Eli spoke, I often dropped everything, knelt down to his eye-level, made good eye contact, and nodded my head dutifully as he spoke. You probably see where this is heading…

When Eli was older, he informed me that my intense listening sometimes made him uncomfortable and I suspect that my distracted listening habits paid short shrift to my older two boys. The trick was finding a happy medium. I had to become an equal opportunity listener. Not every exchange necessitated an intense level of attention for any of my kids –and I could do a far better job of listening, in general, for all of my kids! Just thought I would share that perspective.

Thanks again to all who put the FRIENDS convention together and to all who made it so welcoming. Hope your travels home were uneventful and I look forward to staying in touch!

Doreen (Dori) Lenz Holte