You may have often come across a situation when you are saying something and your child doesn't listen. In such conditions, you must have experienced a feeling like “Oh my god! My kid always zones out in between the conversations. What should I do to improve it?
You do not need to take tension and continue reading this article to find a solution to your problem. Active listening is one such activity, which not only improves your listening power but also helps in concentrating well, building connection, trust and healthy communication.
Being highly active, children intake a lot of knowledge at one time and due to this they sometimes tend to ignore a few parts of the conversation and only listen to what they want to hear. This is called selective listening.
This behaviour is sometimes acceptable but it is equally important to cultivate good listening skills in your child to improve their overall behaviour and communication skills while they are growing.
Before helping your child with better listening skills it is necessary to identify why they do not listen. Sometimes you may feel your child is ignoring you or not responding to you, some parents can also sense this behaviour as disrespect but it is much more than that. Here are a few reasons, which can help you detect why your child ignores you or does not listen to you:
Sometimes your messages are too lengthy or you may deliver complicated messages to your kid.
You may approach your kid in a complaining manner, which leads to irritation in your child's behaviour.
This situation can also be the result of hearing loss, an auditory processing issue, or mental health disorder.
Some children deliberately do not listen to their elders to see their parents' reactions.
In some cases, parents are demanding something against their child's will.
Other reasons can be the speaker being rude and angry.
Your child can also be an inactive listener when parents do not acknowledge their kids' problems with proper attention.
Here are the simple tips for the parents which will help them to improve their child's listening skills :
Be a good communicator: whenever you assign tasks to your kid or ask for help, tell them how to help you and explain every step to follow.
Involve them in your work: if you are working in a kitchen or anywhere, talk to them casually and tell them about your work. Ask them how their day was and describe your day too. Converse with them about things in which they take interest.
Be a keen listener: kids naturally mimic their parents and adapt their parents' habits. Therefore beware of your wrong habits and listen to your kids carefully, put all of your attention towards them when they are speaking.
Be patient: if your child throws tantrums, let them take their space/time and keep patience once they return to you. If you are busy and your child is willing to talk to you, tell them politely to wait and that you will return to them in some time. This way they will learn to have patience.
Follow positive parenting strategy: provide choice to your kid such as giving them choice in choosing between any two categories like bathing or playing first. This will let them feel that they are capable of making decisions. Gradually they will start following what you say.
Understand your kid: if your kid is not listening to you, it is also because they are tired or not feeling well. Adjust your expectations if they blow up at the moment.
Be polite: speak to your kid in a positive manner, control your anger even at the moment when they outburst.
These are some of the activities to improve your child's listening skills :
Storytelling: arrange storytelling sessions with your kids by arranging something unique for them. For example, do storytelling with some visuals and audio. After the session, ask them questions related to the story that will create their interest and enhance their kids' listening skills.
Play games: ask them their choice and play what they want to. You can also play games like 'Simon says'
Indulge them in reading activities: this will help them in two ways. One, in increasing their ability to read properly and other, when you will read books for them, they may take interest and listen voluntarily.