January 19, 2011

Are You an Active Listener?

Often when your child is talking to you, you don't listen attentively. You might be multi-tasking, 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 full, 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
 Get down on your child’s level and make eye contact
 Give your child 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.

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