Active Listening 1
You just got back home from work after a hecticday. The office was busier than usual, you had to battle through traffic (to and from work), your phone has very little battery left (just like you) but you still managed to swing by the grocery shop to pick up a few essentials on your way home. You have just enough energy for dinner, before you hit the bed.
But your 3 year old has a lot of other plans for you!
Your child will have experienced many moments of excitement and frustration throughout the day as well, just like you. Now all they want is to share their stories with you even before you had the chance to settle down for the day. So you sit down half heartedly, nodding your head and listening to her stories, barely taking anything in. Your responses are short and so is your patience.
She senses your detachment, gives up on her efforts and takes comfort in her toys.
You are not alone. Most parents find it quite a challenge to engage with their toddler at the end of a busy day. No wonder electronic devices are becoming the third parent at home!
So, how do you deal with this? Quite often, the quality of your day is strongly linked to your child’s emotions.Clearly, its not in your or your child’s interest to let the gap between you widen, as time goes by. One way that you can keep yourself in balance is to ‘learn how to listen to them’.
This is where ‘Active Listening’ becomes your friend. This is also the most important skill you need as a parent. It is a specific form of communication that lets her know that you are “with her,” aware of what they she is saying, accepting of her perspective, and appreciative of her situation.
… and ‘Active listening’can be done even when you barely have enough energy to see you through dinner!
Watch this space for tips on how to ‘Actively listen’! This is one of our core principles at Little Harvard!
Talk to you all soon!