September 14, 2007

Active Listening

Often when your child is talking to you, you don't listen attentively. You might be distracted or thinking about something else. An important skill for parents to learn is "active listening."

When you listen actively, you send your child the message that they are important enough to have your undivided attention. Problems can be solved and perhaps even be prevented if you take the time to use active listening.

How to actively listen:

· Stop what you are doing.

· Look at your child.

· Give your full attention.

· Listen to what is said.

· Comment on what you think you heard.

Active listening focuses on what your child is saying. It does not mean you agree with, but rather understand, what they are saying. It will validate what your child is feeling and will strengthen your parent-child relationship.


Anonymous said...

I am guilty of this. My teenager has pointed it out to me. I have something else on my mind, and I hear her, but I'm not listening. It's a hard habit to break.

Pam Dyson, MA, PLPC said...

Habits are hard to break. New habits can be hard to make. I suggest you make an effort to give your daughter your full attention the next time she talks to you. The more often you do it the easier it will become.

SusieQ said...

Pam said: "Habits are hard to break. New habits can be hard to make."

Someone once said that it takes 3 weeks to create a new habit. But the first time you don't do your new thing is day 1 of a new habit (not doing it).

Moral: keep doing it!