Simple guide to active listening for parents

Posted by / Thursday 10 November 2016 / Parenting Tips Behaviour Toddler

Listening is a really important life skill for parents. When your child feels listened to they will feel like you understand them.

Active listening has become a part of some of the parenting courses that we run. 

"Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding."

Active listening

1. Concentrate completely on what your child is saying

Hearing is not listening.

You should stop what you’re doing. Crouch down to your child's level. Make eye contact with them.

Put together, these 3 actions show your child that they have your full attention.


2. Avoid interrupting

Let your child finish their sentences at their own pace. It may be hard for them to find the correct words to use.

3. Repeat back to your child what they said

Once your child has finished speaking, say back to them what you’ve understood.

It doesn’t need to be the exact words - you can add details and suggest an emotion that they may be feeling. If you’ve got it right, your child will agree with you.

If you’re not clear whether your child is sad or angry or scared, it’s okay to guess as your child may not know the correct word but you’ll be able to work it out together.

Bonus Video
Watch a clip from 90s sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond where Raymond puts active listening into action.  

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