To always be attentive to my children when they are talking, no matter how minor (to me) the things are, because at that point in their lives, that thing minor to us was a very big of a deal to them.
Sitting beside me is a family of 3, a father with 2 kids. The daughter is talking about school, things that happened today, that ridiculous teacher, that pretentious classmate. Her brother is entertaining her, laughing at the things she say. The dad? Staring into space. He probably isn’t really listening. She looks at him, trying to get some form of acknowledgement, but isn’t given any. She changes the topic and tries again, but no, he still isn’t responding. She stops.
And with that, the next time she will try again. And again. And possibly again. Until one day, she gives up. And when that day comes, the dad will be pleading with his eyes for her to tell him things happening in her life, but no, no acknowledgment will be given, because she remembers, that he wasn’t interested.