Listening to each of your children shows them you really care. You respect what they have to say. You are showing they are special and respected.
Where are the places we can listen?
In the car is wonderful. As your children grow, you’ll appreciate this space. You’re not eyeballing them; you can get deep and meaningful very quickly. While your children are little, you can ask questions. “If you had a boat, where would you sail to?” You can involve them in imaginative games. “If we owned that shop, what would we sell?”
Out and about in the fresh air. You’re walking. You can be talking. You can be observing. What do they notice about the world? Make life an exciting adventure instead of just device place being the go-to for excitement. Look under leaves. Behind bushes. Watch a cricket or a line up of ants. Where are they going? How do they move? What are they carrying? Where do they live?
During a focused activity. Like a jigsaw. Or when you’re constructing with blocks. Even when you’re cooking together. What will you use next? Do you have a blue piece or a red block? What colour do you think we should put in the icing?
As you sit to eat. Meal times can be crazy chaos. But there are times when you find out about each person’s day. What was your most exciting moment? What did you not like about your day? Make sure adults get to talk to so your children get chances to listen! Once a week, ask everyone to say what they appreciate about one member of the family.
As you listen
Nod, smile, mirror the feelings of your child and their story. Ask, in the pauses, questions to get even more perspective. “What do you think he was feeling when that happened?” “What were you thinking about how she said that?” “If you could try again, what would you do differently?”
We hope you enjoy listening to your child and helping them listen to people and their world too.