Written by Diane Smith, CEO & Co-Founder of American Rural.
In a culture filled with immediate, nonstop input, is there a skill more rare or important than that of listening? I’m a tech entrepreneur, writer, and attorney. I’m an empty-nester now, but when our daughter was growing up, I was almost always busy. Working, running errands, doing Very. Important. Things. I know there were times that I should have and yes, could have, leaned in and listened better. That’s why I love Granny Greeny Says Listen Louder written by Ina Albert with illustrations by Bret Schlesinger.
“Listen Louder” says Granny Greeny. Listen with your whole body “and a heart filled with love.”
Ina’s a wonderful storyteller who was called to create Granny Greeny as a result of her experience as a parent, grandparent, and years as a communications professional in health care. She had literally seen care improve the more patients felt heard. “I realized that the space in between two people is sacred ground and it got healthier as soon as we started listening to our patients,” Ina explains on the website at Listen Louder.
Bret’s illustrations are whimsical and joyful. Granny Greeny is a delight in her green dress, hat, and red bow shoes. Bret brings to life animals and kids and clowns, vibrantly and colorfully drawn. Granny shows them all how to Listen Louder. The book also comes with the Listen Louder Game that includes questions adults can ask children and vice versa.
Granny Greeny Says Listen Louder is a book for everyone. Grandparents who might be struggling to talk with tech-hooked grandchildren, parents who might need a reminder that listening is one of their most important jobs, teenagers who are tuning out the adults in their lives, and young children who are in the early stages of learning listening as a skill.
Civility and the ability for deep, meaningful conversation may be among the most important lessons we impart to our children. So join the movement Let’s all learn to Listen Louder. Future generations will thank us.