Mother listening to daughter

Listening to your child teaches him how to communicate better with others.

How to listen to your child

“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you…no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big. Because, to them, all of it has always been big stuff.”

~ Catherine. M. Wallace

Listening is key to good communication and to having a good relationship with your child. Listening to your child also boosts their self-esteem and makes them feel worthy and loved. Constantly ignoring your child when they are trying to speak will make them feel that they are not worthy, that what they have to say is unimportant and it will affect your relationship negatively over time.

Here are some tips to help you listen to your child:

  1. Stop what you are doing and pay attention
  2. Look at your child
  3. Pay attention to non-verbal language. Does he look happy, sad or afraid?
  4. Don’t interrupt
  5. Show that you are listening by using simple acknowledgement phrases, such as “ok” or “hmmm?”
  6. Ask questions or use phrases to encourage him to talk further, such as, “And then?”
  7. Try to name the feelings you think your child is feeling and check with him, for example, “So, that made you feel cross?”
  8. Try to help him come up with solutions sometimes by using phrases such as, “What would you do to help?”

Good communication is so important today, yet we hardly find the time for it. By giving your child your time, you are teaching him valuable skills for life. By listening to your child more, you will, not only, strengthen your relationship, but you will also encourage him and teach him to communicate better with others and to be a better problem-solver.