Active Listening Improves Communication

Editor’s Pick. Written by Genevieve Simperingham.

Why won’t my child listen to me? Why won’t she open up when it’s obvious that something’s bothering her? Why does he answer back? Why does she shout rather than talk when she gets upset? Why does he lash out when frustrated rather than seeking my support?

Active Listening – a communication skill that can bring greater connection, cooperation, clarity and understanding to relationships.

Parents are often baffled to see their child being defiant, uncooperative or becoming verbally or physically aggressive rather than talk about their feelings. They can’t understand why their child will shut down and refuse to speak or interact when they’re clearly troubled. Parents know how much they love their child and hope or expect that their child can trust that they can turn to their parent for comfort. Yet, many of the responses from parents to children when a child needs to feel heard, including very well meaning advice, inadvertently gives children the message that their feelings are not valued, cared for or understood.

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