Listening to your child – A key factor that shapes their overall personality
Do you get frustrated when you get interrupted while speaking? Or the person you are communicating with is constantly checking their phone? Of course, you get frustrated! You get annoyed and you move on. Now imagine your child going through this situation. At this young age they don’t know how to just move on. It is the age when they are still in the learning and developing stage of life. Listening to them builds their sense of self, adds to emotional skills and instils confidence to speak their mind.
Here are some practical tips to improve your listening skills towards your child:
- Committed attention: When your child is talking, listen to them wholeheartedly. Leave whatever you are doing aside and be interested in what they have to say.
- Initiate conversation: With ample to do on everyone’s plate, often parents finish a child’s sentence or question or remark with a mere yes or no. Try to pitch in and further the conversation. This will make them imagine further and learn new ways to add on to a conversation.
- Make communication a routine: Let your child know communicating is a way of life. Be it at dining table, in park, while playing etc. so your child can comfortably come to you to share emotions as well i.e. anger, embarrassment, sadness, happiness without having to put an effort into it.
- Exert body language: Use body language to convey interest in what your child is saying. Nodding, smiling, being in the eye level while talking, maintain eye contact, leaning forward, surprised eyes etc. are the ways you can express your interest. Your child will also pick up the same example and reciprocate.
- Express empathy: ‘I understand’, ‘That is so wonderful’, ‘I am sorry’, ‘That is funny’, ‘That sounds bad’ – this helps building empathy in your child. Important to note that empathy doesn’t mean passing judgement. If you are not happy what your child has done or said best is to make them understand this by explaining why.