Remember being a kid? Imagine if the adults around you listened intently to everything you said. How would you have felt? Valued? Important? Like your feelings matter? Now imagine giving your kids those gifts. You may be able to do just that when you listen to them carefully. Here are some tips to improve your listening in a way that might help everyone.
- Remove distractions and give kids your complete attention.
Kneel down and give them your eyes as well as your mind. This can help kids feel valued. And it models how to listen.
- Show kids that you're listening with words and body language.
Respond by saying "Okay" or nodding. This tells your child that you're listening.
- Speak calmly when replying.
- Restate what your kids tell you.
Repeating in your own words what your kids said confirms that you listened. Try to understand what they mean before speaking.
- When the time is right, be curious.
Let kids fully explore and express their feelings before you respond.
- Resist the urge to quickly judge or advise.
Sometimes just being heard is enough.
Taking the time to listen carefully to your kids can help them feel that you care. And when you really hear what they say, you may feel better too.
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine