Why it is important to listen to your child

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We all want our children to listen to us, but how often do we make time to listen to them? A child who feels listened to is also a child who will listen to parents, teachers and their peers. Think about when you were young, who were the adults you looked up to? Most probably, the ones who showed interest in you by listening to you. It helps to earn their respect. When children look up to you they will not want to disappoint you, so they are more likely to listen to your requests.

Listening to children helps to form strong relationships. Important is to stay patient and wait for them to finish talking. This is a challenging skill to learn, but active listening and responding without judgement will encourage kids to feel safe in talking about their feelings. This is very important in any relationship later in life. The more comfortable people are in sharing their feelings and develop deeper connections with others, the better they’re able to create meaningful relationships. Being skilled at building relationships is also a highly sought-after characteristic in the business world and can help your child achieve success later on in their working career.

It’s usually during teenage years when parents begin to worry that their children are not communicating with them about their lives. Many parents worry about how their teens are spending their free time and with whom. So, while your children are still young, it is important to invest in listen to and talk with them. If they get used to sharing their thoughts and feelings with you now, they are more likely to continue to feel comfortable doing so during their teenage years.

But you may ask, how do I get my child to talk to me? When I make time, they don’t really have much to say. What can I do? While some children might be begging to talk to you and interrupting you while you are busy, others need a little more encouragement to begin sharing their thoughts and feelings. Firstly, you should make time to set aside your own tasks, and especially put down your phone when you want to talk with and listen to your child. If even with your undivided attention, you can’t get your child talking, you can try going for a walk together. Your child may feel more comfortable talking while walking side by side if they are hesitant about talking face to face. Walking outdoors will encourage them to share thoughts - perhaps about general things first, but own thoughts and feelings will follow.

It is also important that you respond positively to everything that children say when they are sharing their feelings. This will encourage them to feel safe sharing things with you. It can be difficult to avoid interrupting if you disagree with something that a child says, but try to avoid judging or correcting them. When children are frequently judged by the way they think or feel it is easy for them to lose self-confidence. This can lead to low self esteem and make it more difficult for them to form friendships and new relationships.

Clearly there are many benefits of listening to your children, and listening with intention to encourage them. Once adopted, this habit is easy to become used to as both you and your child get to know each other better through regular chats.

Is your child ready to put communication skills to practice? And interact with other children and adults? At WorldTrainer China youth academy, your child will have an opportunity to interact with other children in a cross-cultural environment. This will not only give them an opportunity to improve their communication skills but encourage them to participate in physical activity and improve their English!

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patty lee