Stop, Look, Listen!

By: Rachel Webb

As a parent is seems that the majority of your day is spent trying to get your children to listen to what you are trying to teach them. Make them understand how to be a responsible child. Convince them to make the right choices. Kids call these lectures. Some parents call them friendly reminders or teaching opportunities.

Dean Rusks said, "One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears!" There are three steps that may help you to remember to use better listening skills, and help you achieve more effective communication with your child. Just three small words. Stop. Look. Listen.

STOP what you are doing. Put your child on your lap or sit beside them so you are at their eye level. This tells your child that they are important and that they now have your full attention.

LOOK your child in the eye. Maintaining good eye contact during a conversation is a good way to recognize important non-verbal behavior. Your child's posture, body movements and gestures can tell parents a lot about how their child is feeling.

LISTEN and really hear what your child is saying. You can give your child clues that you are listening by nodding, smiling or raising your eyebrows. These kind of communication signals will encourage your child to open up to you and feel they are being understood.

Randall A. Wright gives a parenting test in his book Building Better Homes and Families. See how you rate.

  1. Do You look at your children when listening to them?
  2. Are you trying to understand how your children feel instead of thinking how you feel about what they are telling you?
  3. Do you raise your voice in anger at your children who interrupt you while on the phone or when you are visiting with guests in your home?
  4. Do you listen patiently to all that your children have to say before you start talking?
  5. Are you truly interested in what your children tell you?
  6. Do you expect your children to stop what they are doing and listen when you need to tell them something?
  7. Do you stop what you are doing when your children have something important to tell you?
  8. Do you listen in a way that encourages your children to express their real feelings?
  9. Do you listen with affection to your children?

Author Rachel Webb designs large write-on/wipe-off Fridge Calendars that are entirely Magnetic - Guaranteed not to slide off when the kids slam the fridge door!

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