Sep 30, 2009

Why Parents Should Learn Active Listening

Active Listening facilitates problem-solving by the child.

We know that people do a better job of thinking a problem through and toward a solution when they can "talk it out" as opposed to merely thinking about it. Because Active Listening is so effective in facilitating talking, it helps a person in his search for solutions to his problems. Everybody had heard such expressions as "Let me use you as a sounding board" or "I'd like to kick this problem around with you" or "Maybe it would help me to talk it out with you."

Active Listening influences the child to be more willing to listen to parents' thoughts and ideas.

It is a universal experience that when someone will listen to one's own point of view, it is then easier to listen to his. Children are more likely to open themselves up to receive their parents' messages if their parents first hear them out. When parents complain that their kids don't listen to them, it's a good bet that the parents are not doing an effective job of listening to the kids.

Active Listening "keeps the ball with the child."

When parents respond to their kids' problems by Active Listening, they will observe how often kids start thinking for themselves. A child will start to analyze his problem on his own, eventually arriving at some constructive solutions. Active Listening encourages the child to think for himself, to find his own diagnosis of his problem, to discover his own solutions. Active Listening conveys trust, while messages of advice, logic, instruction, and the like convey distrust by taking over the problem-solving responsibility from the child. Active Listening is therefore one of the most effective ways of helping a child become more self-directing, self-responsible, and independent.

Remember to always be Active Listening!

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