Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to Listen to Your Kids

When I think about it, most of the misunderstandings and frustrations I have experienced have arisen from a lack of communication. Either I've misinterpreted what the other person was saying, or I haven't really listened in the first place.

Effective communication is one of the most important tools in your relationship with your child. It can help you avoid unnecessary conflicts and worries. But how do you communicate effectively? One way is to practice active listening.

Active listening requires not only that you listen to what the other person is saying, but you must also ask for clarification so you are certain you understand exactly what he is saying. You do this by repeating his message back to him in a question.

For example, "Do you mean that you don't want to go to the movie today or that you don't want to see that movie ever?"

Try active listening today. Ask a question to see if you really understand what's being said to you or if you're jumping to conclusions and not really listening at all. Remember, effective communication makes your life easier and less stressful, so work on perfecting this most important skill.


Judy said...

Hi Theresa,

I really think active listening is an essential parenting skill - not to mention a life skill.

The result usually means that you really do "hear" what the other person is saying.

Take care,

Dorothy Massey said...

Sometimes we take it for granted that eveyone has listening skills, but in fact many people haven't. A lot of so called bad behaviour arises when kids try to tell parents something, but the parent just isn't listening. Dorothy Massey
P.S. I love the picture you posted of yourself

Dorit Sasson said...

Hi there, Theresa,

I agree with Judy - this skill has saved me during heated debates with both students and parents - so it's a great skill.

Your blog's looking great!


Carma said...

Theresa I use this technique on my husband. He hates it when I repeat it. Namely he doesn't listen to himself much less me. :)

I agree effective communication should be high priority.


Lisa Kirby said...

Learning to listen is hard for some people. But it's an important part of life. Many arguments could be avoided if both parties listened...and understood.

Have a wonderful day, Theresa.

Lisa Kirby