Listening actively to your child: 5 tips

Build a secure relationship with your child talk when you let him talk without interruptions. Here’s how.


Just as you want your child to listen to you, you need to set the example by learning to listen actively to him. In this form of listening, you aren’t just trying to understand the complete message, you’re taking into consideration your child’s voice, body language and overall attitude.

As parents, active listening gives you the opportunity to better understand your child and show him that you care. In turn, this builds trust and strengthens your bond. Ultimately, junior should calm down more quickly, have a better handle on his moods, as well as have fewer negative emotions.

            Educators Maya Thiagarajan and Sherrie Roch give tips on how you can master this skill.

1.      Put away your digital devices (so that you can give your kids your full attention)

Giving your child your full attention lets you better connect with each other, and boosts your mutual understanding.

Recently, Thiagarajan said her 7-year-old daughter gave her the best piece of advice she had received in a long time. When the little girl approached mummy for a chat only to be told that she was busy, her daughter said, shaking her head, “Mama, I’m far more important to you than all the people you are following on Twitter. So, please shut down your laptop and listen to me instead of them.”

Thiagarajan did just that.

Giving your child your full attention lets you better connect with each other, and boosts your mutual understanding.

2.      Master asking follow-up questions

As parents, you order, instruct, judge and advise your kids. While this is important, it’s just as important to know what’s going on in their lives, their thoughts and their feelings.

Your kids will tell you more about themselves if you ask questions frequently, especially follow-up ones. Examples of follow-up questions are: Why did you do that? Do you think you did the right thing? How did that make you feel? What did the other kids do? What did she say next? What were you thinking at the time?

            Such questions not only help your kids open up and self-reflect, it shows them that you are interested in their lives, thoughts and feelings. Listening carefully as your child elaborates on a situation will also boost the bond between the both of you.

            Thiagarajan points out, “If we build and strengthen close relationships with our kids when they are young, then perhaps they will trust and talk to us when they are older.”

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