Learn to listen. Sometimes the best way to stand up and speak is to sit down and listen. When your child feels understood, he/she will become more receptive to what you have to say.
Here are 5 skills that make you a great listener.
1. Listen First, Advise Later
Acceptance is key to active listening. Keep your mind open and let your child talk without rebuttals.
2. Show Non-Verbal Cues
Present attentiveness by nodding and making facial expressions. Body language is a subtle way to convey trust.
Look at your child in the eye, but do not glare. Eye contact shows that you are sincere.
Nod as your child speaks. It signals your active participation.
Smile. It indicates interest, and encourages your child to speak up.
3. Sharing, Not Questioning
Share about a similar experience you had encountered to establish trust. Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Fostering trust strengthens the bond between you and your child in the long run.
4. Reflect, Not React
Mirror your child by paraphrasing key points. Reflecting suggests that you are on the same wavelength. It is an affirmation that you are indeed listening.
5. Feedback: Assurance of Understanding
Show that you have understood by clarifying and restating what you have just heard. Ask the right questions to assure that the right message has been conveyed. Comprehension gives a powerful boost to your child’s confidence and encourages him/her to open up.
Active listening is listening with your ears to understand the heart of another. It helps you communicate with your child effectively and improves mutual understanding.
After all, you listen to learn.