Young children are inquisitive and curious, we all know that. This is because they are blank slates. The world is still an amazing place for them and they want to know more about it, about everything.
And in these formative years, it is essential to teach them how to listen more than anything else. Psychology suggests that listening properly is closely related to proper, rounded growth of the child. Young children are very observant and pick up things happening around them quickly. These observations quickly become habits and play a huge role in how the child thinks and reacts to the surrounding environment and humans.
In these formative years, children are limited in mobility and other sources of communication, as well as gaining information. So, they turn to the easiest way of gaining new information, listening.
They are easily attracted towards sound and they pick up new sounds and words which are spoken around them. It is unconsciously fed into their memory while they consciously try to recreate the sound. However, when they start reproducing the sound (Words, sentences) they keenly pick up on the meaning through how the environment reacts to them.
The process happens in 3 steps.
- Understanding the sounds around them
- Recreating the sounds which they find important
- Understanding the meaning of the sound through feedback
This is how listening jumpstarts the process of growth in children. The next step in this process is using the sound frequently after understanding the meaning.
These are the primary reasons why listening properly should be inculcated as a habit in growing children. Especially through the ages of 1-4 years old, when every child is gathering and processing a lot of information on a day-to-day basis.
But, let us gain in-depth understanding of how listening is essential in the growth ages, years 1-5, of every child.
- Listening improves concentration and memory
Listening is one of the prime senses of our body. Although visual memories are stronger, our body also retains auditory memories or echoic memories.
If trained from a young age, echoic memories can help retain information for a longer period of time.
Along with, conscious listening is like meditation. It helps stabilise the mind and improves concentration.
goDiscover products combine bright and colourful visuals, are apt for ages 2-5 years, with audio information that educate your children and deliver a fun learning experience.
2. Improves Vocabulary
As children grow older, their need to speak and communicate grows rapidly. However, this development is strongly rooted in the initial phase of their childhood. During this phase, listening plays an important role in developing their vocabulary and language processing.
If you have a young child, we suggest you try this at home. Try speaking to him/her as you would with an adult and not as we think we should speak to a child. In a few weeks, you will see that the child understands your language better. In turn, the child also speaks back in a simple but clear manner.
Similarly, goDiscover SmartBook is aimed at improving the vocabulary of children through audio stimuli. The interactive feature of the books allows children to speak back and practice speaking as well.
3. Adds Clarity to Communication and Thought
Improved vocabulary leads to a better thought process. Understanding words and their context helps children place their thoughts logically. This allows them to express themselves more clearly and understand what they want. The ability to communicate clearly and understand the reason strengthens the bond between children and parents.
Furthermore, improved speech helps to differentiate between right and wrong at an early age which improves etiquettes and behaviour.
4. Builds Confidence
One aspect of listening is that it builds confidence. While listening seems like an ordinary thing, most of us listen to reply than to understand.
goDiscover imbibes a habit of conscious listening among children. Conscious listening is a process where
- Sounds/words are captured with context
- The meaning is developed
- Corresponding response is generated
But, why is conscious listening important?
As a habit, conscious listening helps to avoid errors. This habit speeds up with time and combined with clarity of communication, it improves confidence.
Conscious listening decreases speech errors or response errors, thus improving confidence levels. Clarity of thought and concise, but perfect communication allows children to speak their mind.
5. Improves Relationships
Communication is the foundation for any relationship. As parents, most of you would be following this. But even among children, communicating clearly helps them to make new friends. Children with good vocabulary can speak openly with their adults. Their ability to understand reason (to an extent, for they are still children and if they want ice-cream at midnight then they want it) helps parents to understand their children better as well.
This transparent channel of communication between children and parents brings them closer.
6. Optimal Method for Growth
The most important factor of listening is that children between ages 2-4 have limited sources of gaining information.
And, since they cannot read, they prefer listening.
Psychologist Chitra Pandit says that “Listening, rather proper listening, can jumpstart mental growth in children at a young age. Parents should optimise on using listening as a tool to communicate with their children and also to engage them in knowledge transfer.”
She further adds, “Listening is easy and doesn’t take a lot of efforts. With limited abilities, children will hang on to every word that is said to them. Such children use their echoic memory and will engage with the environment around them quicker than others.”
7. Enables Experiential Thinking
One of the most important aspects of listening is that it triggers experiential learning.
What is experiential learning? It is the process where you combine audio with other senses to grasp concepts faster.
As discussed before, audio plays a primary role in beginning growth in children. Long before visuals start taking effect, audio plays a key role in developing the early experiences of children.
These experiences increase curiosity. For example; telling a child that the tomato is red acts as an audio stimulus. This in turn pushes children to question, What is red? What is tomato? How does it feel? How does it taste?
And this also initiates action and correlation.
But, all of this begins with the first audio input.
Summing up, listening is a key-factor in children’s growth and empowers children in multiple ways to process information and interact with their surroundings better.