You will have noticed that over the last few weeks that our PBS4L focus is listening attentively. This is a really important skill to learn as we need it throughout life. When I am in classrooms, I have seen our teachers reminding students of good listening behaviours and having the children tune in to important information. Some students have struggled with good listening since we have returned to the classroom and it is easy to understand why. With all the recent upheaval, we have all been doing things differently, including the way we listen and attend to others. I think everyone has been on their ‘devices’ more. I know my own children seem to be able to watch and listen to their iPad and iPhone at the same time but I often wonder if they are really paying attention to either?
Our children (and sometimes ourselves!) need help learning to listen. We can do some small things as parents to help children with active listening.
Be a good role model. Let children finish speaking before jumping in, look them in the eye, really pay attention. Focus on them and what they are saying.
Use the right type of language. Is it age appropriate? Does the tone match the situation?
Make instructions or directions easy to follow and clear.
Watch for non-verbal signs they are not listening or understanding. Adjust what is being said or take away other distractions if you can.
Sit in silence. This is a great relaxation tool at the end of the day but also helps children focus on small noises and their own breathing. It helps them tune into their listening.
Learning to listen, really listen, is not just a skill for learning, it is a skill for life.