Listening With The Heart
Category: Kids & Teens
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find time to listen to our children because of a new type of lifestyle. According to research studies, listening is the most important and widely used expression of human communication. We spend 70 per cent to 80 per cent of our average working day communicating with others. About 45 percent of that time is spent listening. In the process of listening we hear the message, try to understand it, evaluate it and make a decision on the basis of that evaluation.
One of the easiest ways to empower children is to listen to them. If children feel important and share small little things with their parents, they feel comfortable sharing their more significant things with them later in life. Listening to each other in a family improves the quality of family life and everyone feels cherished.
The best time for a family to listen to each other is during meals. Turn off the television and talk. This is a time you can create memories that will become anchors of love to see your children through difficult times.
The more you listen to your children, the more confident they become. If your child get enough attention at home, it is less likely that he will seek it by acting strange elsewhere. Ann Esden, a child specialist says, �By listening to your children, you boost their development.� A new study shows that parents� rows affect children, even if they are out of earshot. In a study conducted by the University of Memphis, 40 couples were asked either to discuss something enjoyable or a topic of disagreement and then play with their children. A significant number of couples who had a pleasant exchange responded well to their children and listened to them. While those couples who had a disagreement responded negatively towards their children. This study demonstrates that if you argue with your spouse, you should make special efforts to be positive towards your children and pay attention to what they are saying.
Interaction and communication among siblings can deeply affect their feelings of self-esteem. It helps them in developing social skills that will carry them through the rest of their lives. Listening among siblings teaches them how to comfort and sympathize with another person. All the social and interaction skills children learn with, and from, their siblings are used later in life.
The most difficult part of listening to your children is when they are expressing anger. Even caring parents find it difficult to respond positively. Comments like �Don�t make fuss� or �There is nothing to cry about� or �Don�t be a baby� make children feel ignored or insignificant. A better course of action is to offer your child reassurance. For example, if your four-year-old daughter cries because she is afraid of the dark avoid saying things like, �Don�t be ridiculous there is nothing to be afraid of�. Try instead to use soothing expressions. When Sara felt frightened of being alone in the dark, her mother did not deny her feeling of fear. Instead she said, �I guess going to sleep in a dark room can be scary. What can we do to make it not so frightening?� Encouraged by her mother�s comforting reply Sara was able to come up with a solution �I want to keep the light on.� The end result was that Sara felt appreciated, loved and treated with respect.
Parents can become better listeners by listening intently, making eye contact. By facial expression and body language, they can also convey that they are open and available for their children. Even repeating what they have said can help. It will show that you are sympathetic and paying attention.
It does not mean that parents need to be a nonstop �listening machine�. There is a limit to a person�s ability to listen, but the key is to know how to set the limits without alienating your children. For example, you can say to your child, �I know you are upset about school today, but I am talking on phone right now and will talk to you after I am done.�
As a whole, listening to your children is important for their development and growth.
*Listening boosts your child�s self-esteem.
*It teaches parents to respect their children and value their opinions.
*Listening to children teaches them to listen to others carefully.
*Listening attitude of parents helps the children to express their feelings.
*Listening carefully to your children builds mutual trust between you and your children.