One Parenting Trick We can Learn from Royalty




Scenario 1:<

Daughter after coming back from school: Mom, I am back! Am so happy today because I got the highest marks in Maths.

Mom who is working in the kitchen: Oh cool, Take shower. Lunch is ready


Scenario 2:<

Son: Dad, I want to tell you something…

Dad: Wait, have you done your homework? Have you completed that assignment tuition teacher gave last week? Did you borrow that book from the school library…?


What do the 2 scenes above indicate? In the first scenario, Mom seems to not really care about her daughter is telling her. While in the second, the father is completely dominating the conversation. In both cases, it is very clear that parents are not “listening” or rather “actively listening”.



What is Active Listening?


Active listening is a technique to listen and respond to the party in the conversation so that the conversation leads to mutual understanding.


Like in above scenarios, often when people talk to each other, they are not attentive enough. Either distracted or thinking about something else, the conversation then becomes useless. Sometimes when the argument breaks out, people are busy keeping their next response ready and don’t really hear to the other person at all. The focus is not on the real topic in this case.


Active Listening aims at listening first and then responding with the focus on the speaker. Listener must take care to pay full attention to the speaker and then summarize what the speaker has spoken and then respond with his / her own views. This structured form of listening makes it clear that listener has understood what speaker has to say. It also ensures that if needed, speaker can explain one more time and listener can ask queries.







Benefits of Active Listening


1. It makes it mandatory for people to listen to each other with focus and complete attention.

2. Since people are listening to each other, it helps in avoiding confusion and misunderstanding to a great extent.

3. Once the speaker knows that the listener is listening actively, it leads to more open conversations where people express more about their thoughts, their feelings. Active Listening eventually helps to improve and build stronger relationships.





Active Listening and Parenting


Active Listening is crucial in all forms of communication. In parenting, it is a great way to improve your communication with your child.


Active Listening in conversations with your child reassures them that you are interested in what it has to say and want to hear more. When you are actively listening, you give your full attention to your child. You make eye contact, stop other things you are doing, and get down on your child’s level. You reflect or repeat back what she is saying and what she may be feeling to make sure you understand. Note that making eye contact, stop using your smart phone or computer is very much necessary in Active Listening.


When you start actively listening to your children, they get the sense of security that the parents will be always there to listen to them and support them. In all probabilities then, when the children become older, they will continue to share their triumphs, failures, emotional and other issues with you and seek your guidance.



When parents are busy or have had bad day at office, it is possible to brush off children’s small questions, small sharing but we have to consciously make an effort to listen to them and actively listen to them.


It is a good idea to repeat what your children has said. When you reflect your child’s words, you are giving attention to him for his use of words. This increases the chance that your child will talk more because he wants your attention. In fact, you can improve their ideas or language when you follow Active Listening technique.




An Example of Active Listening


When the child says: I draw balloon.

Parent can say: Great! You drew balloon.


Parent can say: Nice! You drew oval balloon.


In this example, parent is not only actively listening but correcting grammar and improving imagination of children.


In some situations, Active Listening might not need verbal support. When the child is feeling low, you can just hold its hand or comfort him / her.


When you are actively listening and summarizing / repeating what your child just said, there is no need to always agree with their views. But active listening makes them share or explain more in details and similarly you as a parent can also freely talk to them about your views.


Active Listening is a communication skill that can bring greater connection, cooperation, clarity and understanding to relationships.




Do You Know This?


A quick search online will show you that when Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton landed recently for their Canada tour along with their two children, George and Charlotte, Kate crouched down. For what? To talk to George engaging in a conversation with him that was nothing but a good example of Active Listening. It is indeed the best possible way to let the other person know that they matter to you. Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton have quickly become the new faces of this parenting technique.


Active listening is a skill that anyone can learn and, when practiced, can truly transform how your children talk to you, listen to you and generally improve the quality of communication and co-operation between you.


Are you actively listening to your kids already?






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