Posts Tagged ‘active listening’

active listening practice

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I practiced my active listening a few times now.

A situation where M was a little scared, and wanted me to carry her. Instead of telling her don’t worry. I said ‘oh, you are scared M, I will help you’. But it was a short conversation, as M doesnt really talk.

I tried with one of my nieces, A. She, out of the blue, said ‘I am worried’, I asked ‘about what’, she said ‘her test on sunday’. My immediate thought was to say ‘dont worry’. But instead I asked about what she was worried about, and why, and more details, and asked her how was she going solve it. She gave ideas, and I told her to be more specific with her mum, and dance teacher (its a dance test), and practice those pieces she doesnt feel confident with. It seemed to really help.

I also practiced assertive parenting. A nephew was making a game of his spoon, and levering his plate. His mum told him not too, but indirectly, and gently asked him not too, it was obviously making a game of it. His mum said 8-10 vague ‘please don’ts’. I stepped in , said firmly a spoon is not a toy, removed the spoon and put the plate in the right spot. He didn’t argue, or get upset, but instantly stopped, and didn’t retry the game. awesome.

Listening to Kids

Friday, September 25th, 2009

The next chapter (in happy children) was about active listening.

I’ll have to admit, this is somewhat new to me.

I think perhaps my counsellor (R) once touched on this. But I didn’t understand.

Its about not only listening ‘yes dear, your upset about school’. Its about really getting behind the issue, firstly understanding the emotion, and not trying to solve the issue.

This is sort of covered in ‘mens are mars’ book.

But this chapter is clear in its depiction of how easy it is to be patronising or lecturing.

It also had an awesome idea about teaching your kids to solve their own issues. That will help M mature more, than me providing the answer.

It was also bring us closer together. Active listening will have the side effect of being the ‘go-to-person’ for M. If she feels that I will understand and comfort, as opposed to solve, it more likely she will bring more tricky things to me. This is a real opportunity for me, to gain real trust with M at an early age, to better help us both through her teenage years (where I think the trust is harder to earn, more sorely needed).

I want active listening to be one of my pillars as a father.