Many kids seem to talk nonstop. Listening, however, tends to be more of a challenge for kids, many of whom are “selective listeners,” according to website Baby Center. Because good listening skills are an important life skill and a key aspect of effective communication, it’s best to foster good listening skills in children as early as possible.
Make eye contact with the person who is speaking to fully absorb what is being said. This is an effective listening tool, according to KidsGoals.com. Ask your child to practice making eye contact with you while you are speaking at first, and then with others when he feels more comfortable.
Constantly saying things like, “Why don’t you listen?” or “Listen to me when I talk to you,” can put negative pressure on your kids and derail your intentions, according to the Exforsys Inc. website. Be patient, and get your child’s attention first, then state your wishes.
Play rhyming games. Baby Center says playing rhyming games motivates your child to listen for patterns in sentences and to become highly attuned to the sounds of words and their content. Your rhymes can be absurd and humorous, and you and your child can take turns adding on to the rhyme.
Lead by Example
The best way to teach a child effective listening skills is to be an excellent listener yourself. Exhibit all of the qualities of a good listener in your dealings with her and others. You’ll find that the need for you to actually teach listening skills will diminish. Keep Kids Healthy emphasizes that if you don’t listen to what your child is saying, you’re setting a flawed example. Listen closely to what your child is saying without interrupting and provide opinion or feedback on what he has said. By respecting what he is saying, you’re teaching him to respect others while they talk.
Tomorrow: Games and Activities to Play with Kid to Help Them Listen