It can be difficult to listen to your children when all they do is talk and talk and talk! However, I dare you to tune in to what they saying and see how smart they are being.
Reflective Listening To Your Children
What is reflective listening?
It’s a special skill that shows you understand how another thinks and feels.
This is an important skill to have as a parent. It will greatly impact your relationship with your children. A child who feels heard is more likely to do better in life than a child who doesn’t.
How does one listen “reflectively”?
- You reflect, like a mirror, what your child is thinking and feeling.
- Use the phrase, “You feel (feeling) because (situation leading to feeling).”
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is my child feeling?
- What led up to these feelings?
Make your statement sound like a guess when speaking to your children:
- It sounds as if you feel…
- I guess you’re feeling…
- Seems like you felt…
- That must be a __________feeling.
The Technique of Reflection
A listener can implement the elements of listening orientation through a method known as reflection. In reflection, the listener tries to clarify and restate what the other person is saying. This can have a threefold advantage:
- it can increase the listener’s understanding of the other person;
- it can help the other to clarify their thoughts, and
- it can reassure the other that someone is willing to attend to his/her point of view and wants to help.
Listening orientation and reflection are mutually reinforcing. Empathy, acceptance, congruence, and concreteness contribute to the making of reflective responses. At the same time, reflective responses contribute to the development and perception of the listening orientation.
Principles of Reflective Listening
1.More listening than talking.
2.Responding to what is personal rather than to what is impersonal, distant, or abstract
3. Restating and clarifying what the other has said, not asking questions or telling what the listener feels, believes, or wants.
4. Trying to understand the feelings contained in what the other is saying, not just the facts or ideas.
5. Working to develop the best possible sense of the other’s frame of reference while avoiding the temptation to respond.
Listening to Your Children
When it comes to reflectively listening to your children it can be difficult. Depending on your child’s age and where they are developmental, reflective listening can also be a great help in communicating. Yes, it’s true, a part of communicating properly relies on your ability to listen.