The 5 Skills of Listening!

It’s frustrating when our children don’t seem to listen, isn’t it?

And when they don’t pay attention to what you are saying in the home, you have to wonder how much they are missing at school!
In 10+ years of teaching Martial Arts in our community, we’ve developed a
5 step approach to develop the skill of listening. You can easily teach these
5 steps to your child!

• The Listening Posture. Teach your child that when it’s time to listen, they must sit or stand straight up. Shoulders back. Lift the chest a little. Chin high. This alone can double listening retention!

• Direct Eye Contact is Essential. Insist on it. Your child will then be able to focus on the words being said.

• Repeat the Message Back to the Speaker, When Possible. For example, a child might say, “So Mom, you’d like me to clean up my room and feed the cat before I play on the computer?” This lets the speaker know your child has understood!

• Ask Questions! Coach your children to ask respectful questions. This shows they are paying attention, and care about what the other person is saying!

• Look For More Information. Especially with older children, train them to ask themselves, “How does this person feel about what they are saying?”
Are they angry? Bored? Interested? Concerned?

My friends, even young children can be taught these steps. Begin by reading the steps to them, and then practicing each skill!

When you observe your child losing focus, just the simple reminder, “Remember...listening skills!” will re-focus them.

And, of course, watch like a hawk for situations when your child does listen effectively. Catch them doing it right, and follow up with a huge dose of appreciation, like, “Honey, I was so proud of you for listening to what I was saying!”

If you have questions about the 5 Skills of Listening, give me a call; I’d be happy to help!

Your Friend,

Denny Strecker

Author's Bio: 

Denny Strecker has been teaching Life Skills to parents and their children for 13 years. He has worked with hundreds of families and shown parents how to teach these skills to their children so they can become better adults.