Do you ever have that feeling that no one is listening to you? That feeling usually happens for me when I say magical phrases like, “pick up your toys” or “brush your teeth”. Good listening skills are not something we are all born with; they are an acquired skill. Here are several ways to teach your child to be a good listener:
- Get your child’s attention: this can be a simple touch, saying their name or even lowering yourself to their eye level to make sure they are looking and listening.
- State and repeat: after you ask or state something to your child, have him or her say it back to you. It doesn’t have to be word-for-word, just make sure they understood what you said to them.
- Be a good listener yourself: children are constantly watching and modeling us. If a child is talking to you, stop and listen. Look them in the eye, and after they finish, repeat what they said to you. It shows the child that you were listening and understood what they said.
- Attitude is everything: if a child is upset, they are not going be using good listening skills. Calm a child down first, then talk to them.
- Note the successes: when a child listens to directions and follows them, be sure to let them know that you noticed! Praising a child for good listening will only encourage them to do it again (and again and again!).