Active listening skills: listening is an active and deliberate process that requires concentration, energy, and reflection. It is a skill that helps to correctly receive and interprets the message in the communication process. Infect, It is still necessary to know how to listen actively and this article includes the techniques and activities to promote active listening skills in children.
What is active listening?
Active listening is a technique that promotes understanding of the speaker in communication. It means actively listening, fully concentrating on what is being said by the speaker rather than just passively hearing the message of the speaker. Listening is an important skill for healthy communication, it has a major impact on efficiency at work and as well as on building relationships with others.
This is more about focusing on what is being said rather than just hearing the message, and giving the other person time to explore their thoughts and feelings. This is called active listening.
Active listening VS Passive listening
Research shows that we remember between 25% to 50% of what we hear. This means that when you talk to your boss, coworkers, clients, or spouse for 10 minutes, they are paying less than half of the conversation. It is therefore a question of choosing your words well.
The main difference between active listening and just hearing is fundamental. A lot of people think they are listening because they have good hearing. But active listening and hearing are two very different skills. Hearing is an involuntary action of sound entering your ears and being sent to your brain. Listening is the voluntary action or process of connecting and understanding the sounds you hear. In fact, most people have very good hearing, but poor listening.
Benefits of active listening
Active listening in interpersonal communication is a technique that promotes a good understanding of his interlocutor. In any discussion or negotiation interview, active listening is a relational skill that helps to obtain more relevant information. It requires conscious effort to hear not only the words spoken by another person but, more importantly, the full message conveyed. The following are the benefits of active listening skills:
Do not fall into questioning + no need to always agree
Active Listening activities for kids
The first step to show your kid how to become an active listener is an example by doing it. The following activities will help to develop your kids active listening skills
Have a conversation with your kids about their interests which will ultimately help in improving their active listening skills
Read stories to your kids and ask them to predict what will happen next in this way your kid. will listen actively to guess write logical answer
Get together with a group and have one kid whisper a sentence to the next person. Each one repeats it to the next until the last kid. Now compares the first and last sentence. this activity helps a lot of inactive listening.
When cooking ask your kids to read the recipe and tell you to step by step procedure
Ask some question rapidly one by one and ask your kid to answer quickly in one or two words
Read your kid a short story after finishing read it again making some changes .your kid will point the change .then appreciate your kid also
Give short instruction to your kids and ask him or her to draw accordingly .this technique is very much impressive to enhance active listening of your kids.
Best Techniques to Improve Active Listening Skills in Children
Active listening and communication skills are the most important factor throughout the whole life. Listening is a basic skill that can be improved upon using different techniques. These are some activities and practices that you can do with your kid to enhance their active listening skills
1. Eye Contact
Eye contact is the most important symbol of paying attention to your kids’ while talking to your kid, maintain eye contact, and don’t attempt to multi-task. Focus on truly listening to them is a significant factor for setting an example for your kid how to listen actively because kids always follow your attitude.
2. Become Good Listener
You need to be a good listener if you want your kid to be a good listener. Children love to adopt the characteristics and behavior of their parents by mimicking, that’s why you always need to set a strong example for your kids.
When you constantly don’t hear when your child is speaking to you, or you are not paying attention to what they are saying, then they will obviously assume that this kind of behavior is normal. Take time to listen actively to their stories, they are telling you again and again. If you are a good listener then your kid will obviously adapt your behavior and become a good and active listener.
3. Catch the attention of your kid during the conversation
Mostly our children may not be listening because the topic of conversation is not interesting to them. Children don’t pay attention when they don’t find interesting just as they pay attention to the topics when they find catching, intriguing, and interesting.
Parents can help them to pay attention to the boring topics through interesting ways of conversations and that is a great way of practicing their active listening.
Spend some time telling stories and talking about your ids hobbies and interest. Ask them questions and allow them to provide feedback and add conversation. While keeping the attention of your kid and engaging them, can help to improve both active listening and good conversations.
4. Avoid multi-tasking while the conversation with your kid
Active listening focuses on one thing: conversation. Forget multitasking. Active Listening means avoiding and rejecting all forms of physical and mental distraction. Obviously, phones, computers, etc are to be avoided during the conversation.
You might be preparing lunch or busy in any other task when your kid wants to talk, try to take a break, and fully devote your attention to your kid. Many parents tend to talk to their kids with their back turned to them as they are often busy doing many tasks.
5. Listen to understand, not to answer
Most people don’t listen to understand, but to respond. They see conversations as an opportunity to expose their thoughts. As an active listener, this type of behavior is obviously to be avoided. Your goal is to understand your interlocutor, not to make him understand. Help him by asking questions to help him analyze his thoughts or feelings. His own solutions are usually better than what you could offer him.
6. Do not interrupt your kid
Let your kid to speak to the end. Interrupting your kid while is speaking can be very rude. kids have short interruption spans they may interrupt you again and again and you also do the same to your kid without realizing it.
Try your best not to interrupt while they are talking and make them clear that you will not interrupt them when they were sharing information and now they have to hear you out now it’s your turn to share. This technique will help your child to improve their active listening skills.
6. Asking Questions
Tell them a story and then ask questions regarding their interests and hobbies. It will help in active listening. Explain to your kid that you have to listen to the story attentively and questions asked by you after the story ends.
7. Active listening and reformulation
Reformulation consists of repeating what the other person has just said in order to make sure that you have understood it correctly. Sing a song or poem or any interesting line and ask your kid to repeat this after you.
They will definitely listen to the words of the poem or song actively and try to understand the meaning of the words to memories it. this is also a very effective technique.
8. Providing positive reinforcement
Be an active listener, when your kids do not have good communication skills, it can be easy to grow frustrated and anxious when your kids are telling a story or sharing some other information. Sometimes they start to add too many details, adding things that didn’t actually happen or, will tell you the things they have already addressed.
However, it is just a part of being a talkative kid. But in these conditions, you have to remain an active listener. Every time encourage them and provide positive feedback.
9. Ask Them to Write It Down
If you have a larger number of tasks ready for your child, then make a list together. The act of writing down the information ensures they will process what they are hearing. Additionally, having a list makes it easy to refer back to instructions.
Sit down once a day and discuss what needs to be done. Give your child a paper and a pencil then work on the list together. Say the tasks loudly then ask them to add them to their list. Once you have finished, ask them to read you the newly created list back to you. It helps if you have a list of your own. Also, help in active listening.
10. Play Games
There are many games that can help to improve a child’s active listening skills. For example, make a group of kids and say a word or line in the ear of the first kid asked him to say the same word to the next and so on, then ask the last one to speak the word. The word would maybe the same or not but this technique helps a lot in enhancing active listening skills.
11.Identify Animal or birds voices
This game may help in active listening, asks your kid to identify the voices of birds and animals, and name them. Then try to produce a voice like those sounds. This is a very interesting game for kids. Kids will enjoy this game and as a result, it helps them in active listening.
In conclusion: Active listening focuses entirely on what is being said. It engages in what the other person says without giving advice or passing judgment. It is the most basic component of interpersonal communication skills. The reason is that listening requires being present and staying focused on the conversation, something that is increasingly difficult in our hyper-connected world.
It needs a lot of concentration and determination to become an active listener. techniques for active listening will help your kids to become a good communicator and build listening skill they will use in future life