Learn 3 tips to encourage your child to have better listening skills.
Knowing how to be a good listener is a skill that few adults have. In general, we are very good at speaking and explaining our points of view to others, but we have a harder time being good listeners.
It is more common for children to learn to express themselves than to listen patiently and attentively. In childhood, the brain is still developing, as is the ability to listen. Therefore, it is very important to exercise listening skills with children so that they have this ability when they grow up. This will affect their relationships with family, friends, and even at work.
3 Tips to Improve Your Child’s Listening Skills
Knowing how to listen is essential to strengthen connections with other people, to improve the relationship with those around us, and to grow both personally and professionally.
Having good communication is not about just talking endlessly; you must learn not to interrupt someone who shares information, feelings, or opinions. When we interrupt the conversation, we stop listening because we focus our attention on what we want to say next.
So how can we help our children understand that listening is as important as expressing themselves? Here are 3 ways to help build your child’s listening skills:
1. Collaborative Storytelling
This collaborative listening activity brings a new and fun twist to the old storytelling tradition. Your child will need to pay attention to what they are hearing, or they will lose the chance to contribute to the direction of the story.
You can play this activity on road trips, at home or even when spending time outdoors. It works like this: a person starts to make up a story by sharing the first sentences and at some point says: “Next!”. So, the next person in the group has to continue the story where they left off. So it goes on until everyone has several chances to increase the narrative until the story reaches the end. In addition to encouraging listening and concentration, it is a very fun activity that stimulates make-believe and it will, for sure, be a very fun game!
2. Listening and Drawing
For this activity, the first thing you should do is draw a picture on a piece of paper. You can use geometric shapes, based on real objects, or let your imagination run wild. The important thing is not to let the children see the drawing first.
Then, give each person who participates a paper and pencil. You will describe each part of your drawing, telling them to imagine what they are hearing and try to reproduce it.
When they are finished, ask them to compare their drawings. The coolest thing is to compare the similarities and differences between theirs and the original design. Then, switch places so that the child also practices describing their drawing to others. It is a very interesting activity to show how people have different views, and as we strive to listen to others, everyone can continue to have unique visions.
3. Listening to Family Stories
Research published in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), showed that reading aloud to children has a lot of benefits, including helping improve the memory.. Also, reading strengthens the emotional bonds between the child and those who read to them. In this way, the kids connect with what they are hearing, developing the ability to listen with concentration and patience.
The key to encouraging listening with children’s books is to choose engaging stories that capture the child’s attention. Personalized books do this very successfully as your child is the main character, making the stories much more attractive and engaging. It creates a greater emotional connection with each story, encouraging an even more special family reading moment.