by Julie Chen Allen
I am guilty of being a selective listener at times. My husband might add that’s a lot more times than he can stand. He says sometimes I listen like a man – which I think is a compliment of sorts since, as an attorney, I work mostly amongst men. (Must mean I am fitting in at work.) But, for an attorney who is constantly listening to the needs of my clients, I could not believe I was on trial at home for being a poor listener myself. Selfishly I rushed to my own defense.
Like the one in Steve Biddulph’s book, Raising Boys, where “selective hearing” was explained by the slower development of auditory canals in boys in contrast with those in girls. This physical process, thus, literally obstructs a boy’s ability to hear very well. I find that theory especially persuasive during bedtimes. When my kids can’t hear me (“It’s bedtime!”) I prefer to think they were just busy, er, developing. I actually think it is a lifelong kind of developmental process. When I “listen like a man,” my ear canals must be aging and changing – like sagging boobs.