And when that happens at home you can’t help but to wonder if they are doing the exact same thing in school. You keep asking yourself, what does the teacher think, is it affecting their grades and what can I do to help?
I’ve been teaching children for 29 years and I can assure there is and approach to handling this type of situation. If fact we have a 4 step method that we’ve been using that just about guarantees success for your child. You too can teach your child the skills of listening right in your own home.
You can easily teach this 4 steps process to your child!
#1 The listening Position – It is imperative that when it is time for your child to receive instruction from you or anyone else regardless of the subject that they sit or stand up straight and assume a good posture keeping their shoulders back and their chin up. By making this one adjustment they start to double their listing retention!
#2 Always look the person who is speaking directly in the eyes – This is probably the single most important
thing that you can teach your child when it comes to listening. You must absolutely insist upon it when you are speaking with child. They will then be able to focus more intently on the words you are saying to them. Research has shown
that looking at the speaker can increase comprehension skills up to 62% for children.
#3 Have you child repeat back what you said to Them – Once you have told your child what you want them to do simply ask them to repeat back to you what you just said. In time they will understand that you are always going to expect them to repeat your instructions. For example, your child might say to you, “OK Mom, you want me to put away all my toys and wash my hands for dinner” This way you will know your child has heard and understood what you have said!
#4 Teach your children to interpret how you feel about what you are saying – I remember there was quite a difference tone in my mother voice when she was angry and calling my name. Teach your children that it is OK to ask respectful questions. This shows that they are paying attention, and care about what the other person is saying! This can be particularly true with older children, train them to ask themselves, “How does the person speaking feel about what they are saying?” Are they Angry? Sad? Impatient? Concerned?
Please remember that even small children can be taught these easy to use steps. Just start by reading them to your kids, and then practice each skill!
If you see that your child is losing focus, which can happen from time to time, by simply giving them a friendly reminder, “Remember…use your listening skills!” you can refocus them.
Needless to say you also should be looking for opportunities to give praise to your child when they do show their listening skills. Try to catch them doing it right, and follow up with a sincere complement, It might sound something like this, “ I am so proud of you for listening to what I was saying today!”
If you should ever have any questions about teaching your child listening skills, drop us a line. We would love to hear from you and we would be happy to help!