Parents have spent more time with our children in the past few months. The art of listening may have improved, stayed the same, or even got worse, between our children and ourselves. If it’s improved, we may have been more effective listeners to our children because we’ve had more time to give them. But parents may also have been more impatient due to the stress of lockdown and not been listening to their children and vice versa.
Going forward into the summer months now, we need to keep on helping our children improve their listening skill and possibly, improve our own.
Tips to Improve Listening
Every time you want your child to do something go and find them to talk to them. Look them in the eye so there is a connection between the two of you and so that you know you have their full attention. This isn’t possible when you’re shouting from another room.
Ask them to turn off the TV if they are watching it, or put down their phone whilst you speak to them. Once you have given the instruction or shared information with them, ask your child to repeat what you said so that you know 100% they have heard correctly.
Parents also need to be doing to same – putting our phone down or turning away from what we are doing. We don’t need to repeat what they have asked us to do or shared with us, but let your children know you have heard them. Use it as an opportunity to start a conversation or spend time together doing a task, chore or enjoyable family time.
At the present time with our children experiencing so many different moods and feelings, listening is so important. Give them the time they need to discuss any worries, problems or fun things like new hobbies or interest. Listening is important for the whole family and can contribute to a more peaceful and loving family life. Making time to talk will benefit the whole family.