One of the best things you can teach your children is to have good listening skills. Good listening skills are important and it’s something they will use for the rest of their lives.
Your children will need good listening skills at home. They will need good listening skills at school when learning the many subjects, they will be enrolled in.
Your children will need good listening skills while talking attentively with their friends or receiving instructions from other adults.
As your children grow older, good listening skills will be useful in college and when they start their first job, or even when they start dating.
There are many ways those listening skills will be useful.
Here are a few ways to help train your child to have good listening skills:
- Reading and asking questions
- Read and Repeat
- Make Eye-to-eye contact
- Practice following instructions
Reading and Asking Questions
A good way to help your child have good listening skills is to read to them. Read a page or two from a story, or book your child is interested in. After those two pages stop and ask them questions. If they have been listening attentively, they will be able to answer questions. If they were not paying attention, as kids so often do, you’ll know their mind was somewhere else.
Read the same thing to them and ask them to listen and that you are going to ask them a question afterwards. This allows them to see what you are doing if they did not understand the “game” before.
Reading and asking questions are good practices to get into to make sure they are paying attention to the story or book you are reading. It is a good practice so that when they are in school, they will pay attention to the teacher or other adults speaking to them.
Children need to be trained to listen.
They need to practice listening.
The better they listen, the better they will do in school and do well with friends or other things they may endeavor in life. This practice begins when they are young.
Read and Repeat
Another way to train your child to listen is by reading something and then have them repeat what you read. Again, this is a good way of knowing if they are paying attention. If they are paying attention, they will be able to repeat most if not all of what you read. Of course, you will not be able to read as much in one setting to do this.
Start with a simple story. Read a line or two and have them repeat it. Read again and repeat.
One of the best times I had with my oldest grandson recently was to have him pick out a book to read. I began reading the story and he stopped me and began to tell me the story.
It will absolutely blow your mind sometimes when a child can just about recite the whole book to you.
Do you think that child has been paying attention? Absolutely!
Reading is a fun thing to do with your child or children anyway, but for them to begin reciting the book to you after you’ve read something to them shows you how much they are paying attention and loving the book. And how much they soak in.
The child who pays attention and can evenly recite a book will be so much far ahead of his or her peers in school because they have practiced their listening skills without even knowing it and you helped.
How many parents just sit and have a conversation with their children? Well, I hope you all do.
I feel like this is a lost art for so many people now with the advent of computer or video games, iPhones, iPads and other electronics that have taken so much of our time and our children’s attention. It is quite amazing to just sit and have a conversation with your child.
Find out what they are thinking.
Find out what may be bothering them.
Find out something they’d like to do or somewhere they’d like to go.
As your children get older, find out who their friends are at school or in the neighborhood.
When you take the time to sit and have a conversation with your child or children, you’ll be amazed at some of the things you can learn about them. You are helping them have good listening skills when you speak to them and ask them questions.
Having a conversation with your children is going to help draw you closer to them as well. It’s a win-win situation.
Make Eye-to-Eye Contact
Make eye contact when you are having a conversation.
Teach your child to look at you when you are talking to them and when they are talking to you. This is also a lost art, it seems.
So many of us have cell phones and are constantly on them, talking, texting or emailing. Put the phone down. Make eye contact with your children.
Teach them that it is important to give the person they are speaking to their undivided attention. The only way you can do that is if you practice what you preach.
Many times, when you are not looking at the person who is speaking to you, you are not really listening to them. You may hear them talking, but you are not really listening.
Teach your children how important it is to look at the person they are having a conversation with.
Teach them to make eye contact.
If you begin teaching them this skill while they are young, they will grow to have more confidence and practice this skill into adulthood.
Practice Following Instructions
Most parents give their children chores to do around the house.
A good practice to get into with your child or children is to give them instructions and have them follow those instructions.
Did they do what you told them to do?
Did they do it the way you instructed them to do it?
This may take some practice, especially if you are starting them young. As they grow and develop those skills of listening to what you are telling them to do, those skills will get better.
As your children go to school and listen to other adults or their teachers give instructions, as they take instructions in college and finally when they are older and working, those who have practiced following instructions at home will be that much more ahead of their peers.
Those children who have practiced good listening skills will be much smarter, more intuitive, and make fewer mistakes.
Putting these few things into practice…reading and asking questions, read and repeat, having conversations and making eye contact and practicing following instructions is going to go along way in your child’s development.
When your children have good listening skills, they are going to learn better, learn faster, and go further than those kids who did not develop good listening skills and they are going to make better grades.
They are ultimately going to have better jobs because they listen and follow the instructions they are given.
Heck, they may be the boss one day!
They may be the one giving instructions!
Start putting these few things into practice today, and your children will reap the rewards tomorrow.