Active listening is positive and effective communication skill that can improve communication between parent and child, by bringing clarity and understanding to relationships. It makes child feeling loved and worthy, appreciated, interesting, and respected. Parents expect that their child can trust their love, they want to be there for their child and hope that their child will turn to them for comfort. Good communication is an important parenting skill. With active listening you will let the child know that you are interested and involved and that you will help when needed. Active listening can truly transform how your children talk to you, it can deepen the bond, the trust, the mutual respect and mutual understanding in relationships.
1. Pay Attention: While the other person is speaking, look at the speaker directly, lean forward and maintain eye contact. Minimize all external distractions. Give this your full attention and ask the child to do the same. So turn off the TV or anything else that could disturb your conversation.
2. Respond appropriately: While you are listening, you can give both verbal and nonverbal responses such as nodding, smiling, and comment to the child. Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes, and uh huh.
3. Focus only on what the speaker is saying: Try not to think about what you are going to say next. The conversation will follow a logical flow after the speaker makes her point. If your own thoughts keep interrupting you, simply let them go and keep your attention on the speaker.
4. Keep an open mind. When active listening, the listener resists the temptation to make the assumption that they already know what the speaker is trying to say. Wait until the speaker is finished before deciding that you disagree.
5. Show Respect and understanding: Unless they specifically ask for advice, assume they just need to talk it out. Do not dominate the conversation.
6. Let the Speaker Finish the Point they Were Making: Don’t interrupt even if the speaker is launching a complaint against you, wait until they finish to defend yourself. The speaker will feel as though their point had been made. Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions. Do not interrogate the speaker.
7. Engage yourself. Children needs to know that you take their views and ideas seriously. Ask questions for clarification, but only when the speaker has finished. After you ask questions to make sure you didn’t misunderstand. Start with: “So you’re saying…”