How to listen to our children – hints

I often hear parents say: “My child does not listen to me.” My immediate response is: “Are you really listening to your child?” Here are some handy hints on how to listen to your child

Mother going down to her daughter’s level in order to make eye-contact
  • For me, the most important tip is to lower yourself to your child’s level, look her in the eyes and touch her.
  • Listen with your whole body- smile, react, comment, laugh with her and share your stories as well.
  • Be patient. If you get impatient, it may well be the last deep conversation your child will have with you.
  • Don’t interrupt. Some pauses may be long as your child is processing and thinking before. Give your child time.
  • Respect when your child needs to be silent. You can’t try to force open an oyster and think the pearl will roll out! Wait for your child to open by herself.
  • Some children are not frequently talkative so you have to “listen” to more than their words. Look at their body language, facial expressions, sleeping and eating patterns, habits and schoolwork to make sure that all is well.
  • An emotional avalanche of words is part of some children’s style- if the story seems confusing, listen to the heart.
  • Try not to shoot down ideas when she shares her dreams with you. Be supportive, even if you think it’s crazy.
  • When some children complain they have a completely separate whiny voice. You should never respond to that voice or else it will become permanent. Say very calmly, “I want to listen, but you will have to use your friendly voice.”
  • Allow your child a fair chance to state their case. You may not have to do what they are proposing, but they deserve to be heard.


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