Everyday life for a modern parent is busy, sometimes even chaotic, and often revolves around balancing family commitments and challenges at work. With so much going on, it’s easy to forget that you and your Children need to share some quality time together too — time when you can relax, chat about what’s happening in your lives and, most importantly, listen to each other.
Children tend to be consumed by in their own experiences, so teaching them to feel empathy with other people is an important life lesson. In fact, the Stamford American International School prides itself on imparting essential life skills and equipping young people with the faculties that help them become adaptive, thoughtful and principled young adults. Good communication, compassion and strong listening skills are key to every child’s development.
To successfully promote empathy in young people as they are developing their personality, it helps if you demonstrate that you really listen to them when they share something with you. Once they understand that what they say and how they say it is important to you, by following your responses, they will be more likely to pay attention to what other people say to them.
Developing your listening skills
To be a good listener as a parent, you must focus on what children are communicating. You need to pay attention to the message and review which bits of information are most important. As a parent, you can advise your child on the best ways to listen and how to pick out the highlights of a conversation. You can also ask relevant questions and demonstrate to your children that an active listener is one who looks the speaker in the eye. A simple, but effective, method is to make sure you turn off the television or remove any other distraction so it is clear that you, as the listener, are not preoccupied with anything else.
Here are five tips to help you be a better listener to your children:
Listening properly to your children is key to effectively communicating with them. A parent without the ability to listen effectively may misunderstand their children and, as a result, communication may well break down. This can be very frustrating for both you and your child, so practice good listening skills as often as you can.