Teaching your children to harness the power of listening
Have you ever found yourself repeating questions or requests to your children? Maybe you feel like they aren’t really hearing what you’re saying to them? It’s easy to get frustrated when it seems like your children don’t listen to what you have to say.
Teaching your children the importance of listening is crucial in their younger years to help them in adulthood. Listening is a powerful skill for everyone to learn at every age. When someone genuinely listens to you, it truly increases the quality of your communication.
There are several benefits for your children to harness the power of listening:
- Better understand how the other person truly feels about a situation
- Build a stronger relationship with their peers and family
- Make people feel like they are valued and important
As parents, it’s important for us to help our children become active listeners because it can improve their skills in a variety of contexts. The younger they start learning to listen, the easier it is for them to learn.
Here are 5 strategies to teach your children to become good listeners.
Be intentional and curious
When someone is talking, it’s easier to be an active listener when you are genuinely interested in what they are trying to say. It’s important that your children learn that they have the choice of whether or not to listen.
Usually, you can learn a lot about a person just from listening to them. Being genuinely curious about the person makes it easier to listen actively.
Not me, but you
The most common problem in listening is that people don’t listen because they are preparing (in their minds) what they’re going to say next.
Teach your children to quiet their mind and focus on what the other person has to say. It’s important they don’t get fixated on what they have to say next but rather take the time to process what the other person has said and respond accordingly.
Ask questions to stay engaged
Teach your children to ask more questions in a conversation. This helps your children interpret what the other person is saying and helps them ask a question based on what they’ve said.
This is one of the most simple strategies to help people become better listeners. This shows that they are interested in finding out more about the person rather than giving them an answer.
Repeat back what you heard
If your child is having a conversation with a friend and is beginning to have a hard time understanding what they’re saying – teach them to repeat back what they heard. This helps them confirm that they have listened correctly and have an interest in what theother person is actually saying.
If they have misunderstood, they have a second chance to listen intently and understand what’s trying to be said. This makes them a highly active listener and makes their peers feel valued and important.
Be patient in giving a response
When a person interrupts you in the middle of your story, it can be frustrating to talk to them because you feel like they’re not truly listening. Teach your children to be patient and wait for someone to finish speaking before they start speaking.
When they begin to reply before the speaker is even finished, they lose concentration on what’s currently being said and are less likely to respond accurately.
Great listeners learn more
Your children can learn a lot from listening to other people. Listening to one another is also a sign of respect. When children listen to their friends or family members, they show signs of respect, maturity and an eagerness to learn.
“Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, and others over self.” – Dean Jackson
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