It is important to listen to your children if you want them to listen to you. A recent study shows that having at least one caring parent was the most important factor in assisting kids to build resilience and succeed in school.
If children have a parent that listens to them, they are likely to overcome any challenges and complete their homework according to published Pediatrics studies. Based on the fact that parents had the greatest influence, other research shows that the presence of any caring adult can increase the positive outcomes of children.
If you want to help your children, work on your listening skills. Try the below tips for listening to your child.
Tips for Preparing to Talk with Your Children
As a parent, you’ve to lay the foundation if you want your child to talk with you more.
Create an Environment that Encourages Heartfelt Talks:
- Spend time together with your children: If you nurture a close connection with your children, then your children will be more likely to come to you with sensitive issues. Create time each day for family meals and sharing fun activities. Do household chores together and read stories before bedtime.
- Tune out distractions: Give attention to your children when they need you to talk. Put away your phone and stop thinking about the office, mortgage payments and worries of life.
- Work on timing: Successful conversations sometimes depend on the setting. Let your child understand when you’ll be available for any open discussion on a situation bothering them if you seem busy at the moment and ensure to keep to your words by discussing the situation through with them at your convenient time.
- Calm down: Similarly, you may need to cool off. It’s easy to say things in anger that you’ll regret later. Be cautious of the kind of words use when angry to prevent you from making a harsh comment that could stick with your child for years.
- Think positive: Let your child know that you notice the things they do well in addition to the times they mess up. Talk more about making friends and learning and less about grades and unmade beds.
Tips for Listening to Your Children
Anyone can strengthen their attentive listening skills. Those same skills are likely to help you with other relationships too.
Use these Strategies to Gear Up Your Listening Skills
- Focus on interaction: Dialogue moves in two directions. Ensure that you listen at least as much as you speak.
- Let go of judgments: Always show your children that you love and accept them just as they are. You can be more understanding of their experiences when you disagree with their choices.
- Drop your agenda: Encourage your children to develop their own perspectives and solve their own dilemmas. Resist the need to do the work for them.
- Address underlying issues: There’s often more to a conversation than what appears on the surface. If you think your child is overreacting or developing unhealthy patterns, you may need to dig deeper or consider family counseling.
- Watch your body language: A great deal of communication is non-verbal. Use your facial expressions and gestures to show your child that you’re interested and supportive. Make eye contact and keep your body relaxed and open. This is one of my best communication with my kids especially when we’re in public places.
- Discuss feelings: Even adults often struggle to identify and share their feelings. The more you work on your emotions, the more you can be a role model for understanding and expressing feelings.
- Keep practicing: You may find that active listening might be unnatural or complicated at first. However, your abilities will grow over time, and your parenting life will be enriched just by making the effort because, in the end, it’s rewarding.
It is rewarding to assist your children to develop healthy self-esteem and communication skills by listening to what they have to say. They’ll have a brighter future, and you’ll both enjoy a closer relationship. Please comment below and share it with close friends and family if you find this guide helpful.