Listening is one of the great and foremost skills which everyone has to practice. Being a kid or adult, we need the patience to listen always. We, as an adult, still lag in listening and tend to talk all the time. We can easily understand the importance of listening with our face design. We have two ears to hear and one mouth to speak, it is as simple as that listening organ is more than the speaking one. So, we need to keep listening to others rather than talking upfront. It is always good to cultivate this skill from an early stage. Kids learn by following us rather than hearing our words. We can’t teach them anything without incorporating that skill inside us. Let us look into a few points which help us to develop our listening skills. We can follow the same with kids as well as adults.
Let’s look into a few life scenarios which we go through then and there to understand the importance of listening.
- In the first place, If we want a child to listen to us or to cultivate the skill in them, first listen to them. Yeah!!! If we listen to them, they understand the real meaning and try to follow us.
- If any of our friends or acquaintance wants to talk about any hard times or failure, listen to them, and acknowledge it. We don’t have to jump in and provide advice/Suggestions without hearing the incident. They may not need any advice at that time instead of a consoling shoulder. This concept very well suits while talking with children. Whenever the child cries or wants to talk about something, we always jump in and start giving suggestions and advice. But it is not needed all the time.Listen to them, then decide whether they need a suggestion or a consoling shoulder.
- If someone talks about any relevant topics which we are familiar with already, let them speak and convey it first. Listen to their opinion before sharing our thoughts. If a child wants to explain a situation that we know, let them explain it, and listen to them without interruption.
- If some discussions are happening between a group of friends, it’s not necessary to hop in and share our thoughts. Listening is more important at that time to learn new things. The same concept applies while being with a group of children (say, our kid’s friends). Just be there and listen to their conversation rather than jumping and talk in between.
- Listen to people without any distractions. If someone tries to talk to us, keep away the mobile or anything we do and listen to them. If we are doing some urgent work, convey it to them, finish the work and start listening. Distraction while listening is not a good habit to follow with adults and also with kids. This distraction irritates the child a lot. My daughter asks me to keep the mobile away whenever I use it while talking with her.
- Don’t interfere while talking. Always allow the person to finish off the conversation.
- Now, this is important. Don’t judge the topic or person before listening, because it is very common for all of us. We decide and imagine the situation even before listening. It gives us the wrong assumption of the content. Listen with open-mind all the time. The same concept applies to children also. If the child cries even without looking at the child, we conclude and start to talk about remedies rather than listening to them. Listen to the opposite party, and kids eventually start to listen.
Benefits of listening
- Listening is an excellent tool for learning. Listen to people while they converse, though it is a known topic. We may learn any new thing from that conversation.
- Listening helps to build our relationship. Acknowledge the people and their feelings, which in turn acts as a bridge for a wonderful relationship.
If we develop listening skills, it automatically passes on to our child. Try to insist and cultivate this life skill during childhood. We can always remind the child to wait for their turn and ask them to say “Excuse me” if they want to convey something. I agree its not an easy task at an early stage as they say “Excuse me” 1000 times. Can’t blame them, they are growing children after all. But continuous reminders and practice help them to practice it very well. Listening is not a special skill which we need to train ourselves for ages; it is an essential life skill we need to remind ourselves to follow.
Check here to read more on 10 important points for effective listening.