The Yang Masters United Taekwondo Center( UTC) includes the importance of listening in the Little Lions Beginner Curriculum. As parents, we all expect our children to listen to us and most likely become frustrated when they don’t. The UTC teaches the 5 Skills of Listening, which include: The Listening Posture, Direct Eye Contact, Repeat the Message, Ask Questions and Clarify and Look for More Information.
It is very important for parents to model Active Listening when they interact with their children. The following are hints to listening with your “whole self”, which were taken from an article written by Wayne Parker, entitled “How to Practice Active Listening with Your Children”:
1. Look directly at your child while they are speaking.
2. Don’t let other things distract you from giving your child your full attention.
3. Avoid thinking about what you are going to say next while your child is still talking.
4. Avoid interrupting your child or cutting them off before they are finished. This can make them feel devalued and communicate that you are not interested in what they are saying or don’t feel it’s important.
5. Respond with respect. Even if you don’t agree with what they are saying, it’s important to avoid discounting their emotions or feelings about the topic of conversation.
Practicing Active Listening with your child will increase their self-esteem , keep the lines of communication open and encourage a positive parent/child relationship. As you child realizes that you value and respect what they have to say, they will be more likely to listen to you while you are speaking to them. If your child struggles with listening, it’s very important to catch him when he is doing well and provide specific and genuine positive praise, such as “I am so proud of you for stopping what you were doing and really listening to what I was saying!!”