Promote Strong Listening Skills in Your Children

Being the kind of parent you want to be requires knowledge, consistency, and a sense of confidence. When you truly know that what you’re doing is the right thing, even in the face of conflict you’ll follow through. As naturalist doctors near me will teach you, having strong listening skills is critical to you and your child’s relationship. 

One important skill to cultivate in your children is listening. A Doctor of Naturopathic near me, can teach the skills necessary to not only help your children, but also support your children’s mental and emotional state. Good communication skills will benefit your children in all aspects of their lives – at home, school, work, and in relationships. If your children know how to listen well, they will live a more fulfilling and successful life. They will also be able to develop empathy and help others. 

Mom with teen

Naturalist doctors near me recommend to Try these strategies to promote strong listening skills in your children:

  1. Listen to your children. One of the strongest ways that children learn is through modeling behaviors of their parents. As a Doctor of Naturopathic near me, helps parents get past their own limiting beliefs about their children, such as they do not have a right to speak, or they do not need to speak, or their thoughts and feelings don’t matter, etc.
  1. When you demonstrate good listening skills in your everyday life in the presence of your kids, they will learn those skills, too. They can see how it’s done by watching you. They will also respect you more and appreciate your willingness to hear them.
  1. Stop doing whatever you’re doing. When you want to communicate with your child, suspend your current activity to focus completely on them. As a naturalist doctor near me, I promote focused attention which means whether they initiate the conversation or you do, stop what you’re doing so you can concentrate on your interaction. This shows that their communication is of value and is respected. A Doctor of Naturopathc near me, can teach you how to focus if you find that your brain wanders, you are anxious, etc.
  2. Make eye contact. In any type of communication, look in the eyes of the person you’re talking to and teach your children to do the same. It is important that they are fully engaged with you in communication. As a Doctor of Naturopathic near me, I often come across those with whom are painfully shy and fearful about looking at people in the eye. I have also seen as Naturalist Doctors near me, those that have been negatively impacted from trauma can have a challenge looking at people eye to eye.
  • A subtle and special connection is made when people make eye contact. You can start modeling this behavior to your children when they’re quite young, even before the age of 2 years. Looking at them in the eyes and communicating helps them to energetically know that you are with them and you are there for them, which can build self confidence.
  1. Say your child’s name. When you talk to your children, saying their name will help get their attention and set them up to be ready to listen, just like when someone calls your name, you stop what you’re doing and look at them. Consequently, as a Doctor of Naturopathic near me, we do not recommend calling a child outside of their name, or making fun of them. Even if you do not mean and ill will by it this can cause some stress and strain on their self esteem.
  • Getting your child’s attention by stating his name is an effective way to prepare him to hear what you’re going to say. That focus is necessary to begin to develop listening skills. As a Naturalist Doctor near me, we want to effectively communicate with their children and ensure they are being heard as well as a seen.
  • Suggest to your child that they sit down. This suggestion sends the message, “Get ready to listen because I’m going to talk.” This is a sue that what they are going to listen to requires focus and free of distractions. 
  • When your child is very young, try leading him to a chair. Then say something like, “I’d like to talk to you for a minute,” which serves as an attention-getter. Make sure that the communications are not all about negative behaviors, also add some praise moments. Explain that you are proud of them appreciate them, etc. As a Doctor of Naturopathy near me, I often encourage a mix of positive and negative communication. We want a balance.
  • Once you complete what you wanted to express, be ready to listen to your child’s response. As a Naturalist Doctor near me, I often advise that we do expression and response. This encourages safe two way communication. Some children will have challenges with expressing themselves, so try not to rush this process. Just ensure that you create an open space for them to fully express themselves.
  • Spot-check their listening skills. From time to time, ask your child what you just said. You’re trying to determine what your child heard by asking him to paraphrase what you said. When he repeats it properly, praise his or her efforts.

If they don’t get it quite right, you have an opportunity to repeat what you said for clarification and to enhance their listening skills. As a Doctor of Naturopathic near me, I often will say yes, you heard me say x, but were you able to here me say xx. Having them fully think through the communications helps them to think more clearly into things that are being said to them.

Listening Skills

Reinforce a child’s effort to listen, no matter how small. When your child shows the smallest attempt to listen or to even approach listening, it’s smart to reinforce those efforts right away. As a Naturalist Doctor near me, we often encourage positive reinforcement. This will help build the child’s self esteem and not always be focused on their negative behaviors. 

  • Even with a 2-year-old, you can encourage their listening skills by saying, “Thank you for sitting so quietly while Mommy was talking,” or, “You were really listening to Daddy, thank you.” Reward them verbally for any efforts that they are making to listen.
  • After a conversation, simple responses, such as smiling while you say, “Great job on listening,” also let your kids know they exhibited the important behavior you were seeking. This will keep them encouraged and excited about listening.

Promoting your child’s listening abilities is best done in small ways every single day. As a parent, you’re the best role model for teaching your children communication skills. Reward their efforts with smiles and positive comments, and you’re on your way to building their listening skills for a successful future.