03 Dec Five Great Tips for Listening to your Children
Good communication with your children will allow you to build closer relationships, connect the family unit, enhance your child’s self esteem and teach your child valuable life skills.
Follow our tips below and watch your relationship with your child thrive!
- Set aside time for talking- this sounds really obvious but among the craziness of our day-to-day lives we often forget to take time out to really listen. A great way to make sure you don’t miss out is to make talking a part of the daily routine i.e. at dinner time, on the way home from school, before bed.
- Stop and listen- if your child initiates a talk outside of your regular talking time and they seem to be demonstrating strong feelings about something, listen. It’s that simple. Everybody loves to be heard so if possible, stop what you’re doing and really pay attention. If this really isn’t possible, explain that you care very much about what they are saying but that you will have to put it on hold for the moment. Don’t forget to follow up with them as soon as you can.
- Be accepting- allowing your child to freely express joy, anger, embarrassment, jealousy and frustration is so important. These are human emotions and your child needs to be able to acknowledge these feelings in order to know how to deal with them. Rather than telling your child they shouldn’t be mad about something, try to offer them a strategy for dealing with these feelings positively.
- Avoid blaming and criticising- if your child has done something you’re not happy about set an example of good communication by explaining how you feel about the choices they made and why and then offer them alternatives for better behaviour/actions to take in the future. This will stop them from hesitating to talk to you next time,
- Listen with your body and your eyes- children can feel how much you’re connecting with them! Maintaining eye contact, nodding, and facing your body towards your child all demonstrate your interest. If your child feels as though you’re really listening, they might just start really talking.
Pro Tip- Start these habits now! Starting young means that both you and your child get into good habits early. Remember, a young child that feels comfortable talking to you will often turn into a young adult who feels comfortable confiding in you.
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