Why Is It Important To Listen To Your Child?
Created by Janaki Srinivasan Updated on Feb 26, 2018
Often when mothers discuss with each other about their children, they complain that their child is constantly talking. As mothers we have often noticed that when we are doing something important, talking to someone at the door, attending a phone call, children invariably come to us with something or the other to get attention. Most mothers find it irritating and feel that children do this to get their approval of things that they would otherwise say no to. What does this mean? It just means that knowingly or unknowingly, children emulate us. Therefore, no matter what you’re doing, active listening when your child is talking is important.
Why is Listening Important?We may not know, but listening has a positive impact on children. Let’s take a look at how this is possible.
Instills Confidence in Children:Children go through moments of happiness and frustration in their everyday life, especially when they are at the beginning of the learning curve. It is not necessary that you need to fix their “little” problems, but they are happy when they have someone to share their triumphs and falls. By listening, you make them feel that they are important to you and are worthy of your attention. This also means they feel confident and continue to communicate even when they are in their teens and are faced with bigger problems. Therefore, keep aside your gadgets and inculcate this habit in your children while you still have control over their lives.
Children Feel Understood:When they share their disappointments, you make them feel that you understand and empathize with their view
Improves Problem-Solving in Children:When you ask them about a possible solution, you are indirectly indicating that they can take decisions and you trust their problem-solving abilities
Improves Bonding with Parents:Children bond well with parents when we listen to them. When we listen patiently and allow them to communicate at their own pace, we create a safe zone for them which are quite helpful later when they grow
Children Do What They See:Children learn from parents. Only if we teach the importance of listening by practicing it will they follow it and give it back to us when they are older
Builds Self- Esteem:It’s a good idea to set aside some time in the day when you give undivided attention to your children. This helps build their self-esteem. Ask questions and keep the conversation rolling
Helps Emotional Bonding:Only if you actively listen can you clearly understand what is going on in your child’s life. Are they happy? Is something bothering them? Do they need help?
Children Learn the Meaning of Communication:When you actively listen your child understands that communication doesn’t mean only speaking but hearing out to others as well. This is the first lesson in social skills that you can teach your child at home
Helps Promote Exchange of Ideas:While actively listening, don’t dismiss the ideas that children bring to the table. Children have a unique understanding to situation as they view everything with fresh eyes. Don’t try to be a problem solver. Let them give suggestions too. That way you help promote exchange of ideas
How Can Parents Be Better Listeners?Most parents know and understand the importance of listening, but many wonder how they can do it. Here are some tips to get started.
- When your child comes to you to say something, listen fully without interrupting and being judgmental
- Try to put yourself in your child’s shoes and empathize with his/her situation
- Be Receptive; don’t be impatient. Don’t get angry when your child says something you don’t like. Listen first and them work together towards a solution
- Try not to lecture; it doesn’t help much but puts your child off
- When you’re talking to your child, don’t just be physically present; give all your attention
- Speak to them in a way they’ll understand. Refrain from using slangs
- Notice your child’s body language as they speak. Try to understand if they need any help beyond what they are able to express
- Make eye contact, be curious, ask questions, don’t jump to conclusions and put words in their mouth. Repeat after him/her. Let them know you’re all ears
Negative Effects of Not Listening:You might not be aware but your actions are directly and indirectly shaping your child’s future. Children learn their first lessons at home. When you don’t hear them out, they don’t learn to listen. They feel unworthy of attention. They lose self-confidence and self-esteem. If they are constantly criticized, they end up communicating less. If you want to make your child responsible teenagers you must start today. Listening is an important skill that you have in your parenting toolkit. It makes the other person know that you are with them, understand and accept their perspective. By actively listening, you will become a safe haven for your kids who will come to you when they have issues in the growing up years. This secure relationship ensures that your child becomes resilient, responsible, confident and caring adults.
Did you like the blog? Did you find it useful? Please share your thoughts, ideas and feedbacks with us in the comments section below; we’d love to hear from you.
| Jan 08, 2020
Relevant topic.. New generation parents tend to be engaged on social media which can hinder listening to their children. This is an eye opener
| Jul 15, 2018
| Jul 14, 2018
| Mar 15, 2018
nice blog very helpful
| Feb 28, 2018
listening is important, as we get to connect well with our children when we listen to them.. which is very important for any relationship to work..
| Feb 27, 2018
| Feb 26, 2018
| Feb 26, 2018
hmm often h