Listening To Your Child

Everyone feels good to be heard. Don’t you agree? When you choose to put your phone down sometimes and give attention to what your child is saying, do you see the difference in your child’s behavior? Listening attentively to your kid strengthens your relationship and makes the kid feel understood. You don’t have to reply to everything a kid says or fix every situation, being there and engaging in the conversation helps you know your kid better, and builds your child’s self-esteem.

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Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Plan regular one-on-one time with your child, by taking a break from technology for that stretch of time and making the most of it to connect with your little one. Amid the myriad of demands in daily life, it is certainly not so easy to unplug and sit with kids. But there are moments when we as parents feel guilty about not being able to make our children feel valued. Don’t we ignore our children’s efforts to engage us when we are distracted by something futile?

How many times do we just say ‘okay’, ‘hmm’ to our kids, without looking at them when they talk to us? Have we really listened to what they had to say or pretended to listen? Texting a friend, scrolling through social media posts or simply watching the screen sometimes takes priority over engaging with our kids and we don’t often realize how the kid feels about it. Engaging with your child helps you build a strong relationship with him/her. It helps you understand what’s happening in your little one’s life.

Here are few ways in which, listening to child contributes positively towards their development

  • Simply acknowledging that you recognize how a kid feels can help them start to process that emotion and calm down.
  • Listening to understand and empathize and not to offer solutions immediately helps kids feel understood.
  • Feeling understood provides connection and makes it much more likely your kid will talk to you again in the future.
  • Actively listening to your little one helps him/her develop trust in you.
  • By giving them your undivided time and attention they feel valued which is great for their developing self esteem

Keep this in mind as you listen to your little one

Criticism

Avoid criticizing or shaming them when they open up to you. Remain neutral and non-judgmental in your responses to improve their confidence and prevent them from hiding their thoughts. Listening to kids should not turn out into hurting them or lowering their self-esteem. Correct them gently while you communicate and encourage them to open up with your undivided attention and positive response.

Judgements

Do not push your decisions or judgements. Rather show them that you empathize with them and are aware of what they are feeling. Being present and attentive is of more importance than providing a conclusion.

Comparison

It’s imperative that you avoid comparing your kids to other kids or siblings. Being mindful of what we say to our kids while having a conversation with them is necessary to avoid demotivating little one’s or attacking their self-esteem. Comparing them to others could cause them anxiety and stress as they constantly try to please their parents.

Motivation

Encourage open and sincere communication, by attentively listening when your kids express their opinions, talk about their opinions or choices. Make it a point to ask questions and make a connection with your child. When your kids open up, validate their emotions and assure them that they can share their experiences or opinions without being judged or ignored.

How do you think can you make time to listen to your kids in our busy life? Do share your ideas in the comments.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Nausheen

    Nice and but emotional post too.because I can really feel the emotions of child at that situation. At that very moment if we are listening to them that’s how they will build confidence and support for success in their life.
    Thank you Rancy for writing on this topic. I am sure this will help many parents.

    1. Rancy D'Souza

      Thank You for the detailed comment on the importance of listening to a child.
      I’m glad that you found my post helpful.

  2. Priti

    Great post! I think listening to child is very important for parents .👏

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