This is really for grown-ups.
[What Every Child Should Have..] [Kid Listening]
How to really listen to
2. Be patient. Don't try to pull words out
of your children's mouths. Don't finish their sentences.
3. When possible, face your child when you
speak and when you are listening. Make eye contact.
4. Be a passive presence. Sit on the side of the
a music video together.
Read something aloud.
Linger at the foot of your child's bed as you tuck her in for the night. Most
children will ramble on just to keep you there.
5. Angry? Wait before you open your mouth to
6. When you go to run an errand, take one
child along for the ride. Private conversations increase your chances of
hearing wonderful revelations.
7. Ask the right questions. Starting with the
word why will always put someone on the defensive, especially a child.
8. Let your child in on something that
happened to you.
Request an opinion.
9. Think back to what happened in your child's
life yesterday and follow up: "How did it go on the playground?" "What did
your teacher say about your art project?"
10. Establish a time in your busy life when
your child knows you will be available to him. Working moms may want to consider an
after-school telephone break, for instance.
11. Let your children feel what they
try to talk them out of being sad or angry, even if you fail to understand why they're
upset. Think back to the last time you were in tears about something and another
adult said, "Oh, I really wouldn't worry about it." You have a right to your
emotions, and so do your children.
12. Put down your newspaper. Turn off
the TV. Stop doing your chores for a moment. Put aside all other thoughts and
concentrate on the speaker. (NOTE: You might be surprised at how little time parents
and kids actually spend talking. Research shows that fathers spend as few as eight
minutes each weekday in conversation with their kids-but moms don't do much better.
Mothers who work outside the home spend fewer than 11 minutes a day talking with their
kids; stay-at-home moms, about 30 minutes.)
13. Don't always point out mispronunciations
or grammar mistakes.
Listen, instead, for the point of the story.
Excerpted from "16 ways to really listen to your kids" Good Housekeeping; New York; Aug 1998; Kay Willis; Maryann Bucknum Brinley;Volume:227